New Mexico Total Crash Deaths Up for 1999
- Just-released 1999 traffic crash death data by state from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows 460 deaths in New Mexico crashes in 1999, up 8.5% from the 1998 count of 424.
- New Mexico's 1999 death rate rose to 26.4 crash deaths per 100,000 population, 73% higher than the national rate of 15.3, based on NHTSA death counts and US Census population estimates.
- New Mexico's rate makes it fourth worst in the nation for crash death rates, behind Wyoming (39.4), Mississippi (33.5), and South Carolina (27.4).
- New Mexico's rate is the worst in the southwest, as usual. The risk of dying in a crash in New Mexico is 20% higher than in border state Oklahoma (22.0), 23% higher than in Arizona (21.4), 50% higher than in Texas (17.6), 56% higher than in Utah (16.9), and 71% higher than in Colorado.
- New Mexico's fourth-place ranking for 1999 is three positions higher than its 1998 ranking of seventh; the state's per capita crash death rate for 1998 was 24.5.
New Mexico Alcohol-Related Crashes up for 1999
- NHTSA also released data estimating the number of alcohol-related crash deaths where one or more driver or pedestrian was at 0.10 BAC or more; these estimates are the only comprehensive measure of alcohol-related crash death levels that is uniform across all states. These are the measures New Mexico has used annually since 1990 to compare its safety to other states'.
- For 1999, the estimates show 169 deaths in New Mexico crashes in which one or more driver or pedestrian was at .10 BAC or more, an 11% increase since 1998 in alcohol-related crash deaths.
- Using US Census populations, New Mexico's alcohol-related crash death rate climbed 11% for 1999, to 9.7 deaths per 100,000 population, a level 115% higher than the national rate of 4.5.
- New Mexico's high 9.7 rate leaves it fourth worst in the nation for alcohol-related crash death rates, behind Wyoming (11.6), Mississippi (10.8), and Montana (9.9); New Mexico was also fourth for 1998 with its rate of 8.7, behind those same states.
- New Mexico's rate is the highest in the southwest, as usual. The risk of dying in an alcohol-related crash in New Mexico is 41% higher than in border state Arizona (6.9), 45% higher than in Texas (6.7), 67% higher than in Oklahoma (5.8), 131% higher than in Colorado (4.2), and 273% higher than in Utah (2.6).
Notes about New Mexico Crash Trends
- Notwithstanding the new graduated licensing procedures, 76 drivers age 15-19 were involved in NM fatal crashes in 1999, up 31% from the count of 58 for 1998. The 1999 figure is the state's highest since 1995.
- 62 teens 15-19 were killed in NM crashes in 1999, up 26% from the death toll of 49 in 1998.
Produced by the DWI Resource Center, September 18, 2000.
Data derived from the US Census Bureau December 1999 population estimates and the USDOT-NHTSA Fatality Analysis Reporting System.