Albuquerque is facing a pedestrian safety crisis
Despite promises to reduce the number of pedestrian accidents in Albuquerque, pedestrian injuries and fatalities continue to remain very high, according to a recent Albuquerque Journal editorial urging city and state officials to do more to prevent pedestrian accidents.
“So while we applaud the Albuquerque Police Department for cracking down on traffic scofflaws (36,000 tickets last year, up from around 18,000 in 2021), the news stories just this month prove it is far too early to do a victory lap for changing driver, or pedestrian, behavior,” the newspaper wrote.
At Szantho Law Firm, we welcome any initiatives to reduce the number of pedestrian injuries and fatalities in Albuquerque. As we have seen over the years, pedestrians are often at risk every time they try to cross busy streets in New Mexico’s biggest city.
Pedestrian accident fatalities remain high in Albuquerque
The recent Albuquerque Journal editorial about pedestrian accidents noted that city officials in 2019 pledged to reduce the number of pedestrian injuries and fatalities to zero as part of the city’s Vision Zero program.
Last year, 337 pedestrians in Albuquerque were hit by drivers, resulting in 40 pedestrian fatalities, according to accident data cited by the Albuquerque Journal. However, that figure is lower than in 2021, when 49 pedestrians died in accidents in the city.
However, the number of pedestrian deaths in Bernalillo County (which includes Albuquerque) remains relatively high. In 2020, there were 31 pedestrian deaths countywide, according to accident data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). As a result, pedestrian deaths last year were 29 percent higher compared to 2020, which had the lowest pedestrian death toll over the previous six years.
New Mexico is the most dangerous state nationwide for pedestrians
Albuquerque isn’t the only place in the state where pedestrian accidents are a problem. Since 2016, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) has ranked New Mexico the worst state for pedestrian accidents.
In 2021, 103 pedestrians died in accidents statewide, the highest pedestrian fatality death toll ever in the state, according to KOAT 7 News. Per capita, that works out to 4.77 deaths per 100,000 people, the highest pedestrian accident death rate of any state.
Why do pedestrian accidents happen?
Like many other cities around the country, pedestrian accidents often occur in Albuquerque because people continue to drive in a reckless or negligent manner. Specific common causes of pedestrian accidents in the city include:
- Speeding: Speeding is a leading cause of pedestrian accidents nationwide, and it is no different in Albuquerque. Drivers who speed are less likely to see pedestrians and have a harder time stopping in time to avoid hitting them.
- Drunk or impaired driving: When drivers are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, their reaction times are slower, making it more difficult to avoid a collision with a pedestrian.
- Distracted driving, including texting while driving. When drivers are texting or otherwise distracted, they are not paying attention to the road, making it harder to see and react to people in their path.
How can a pedestrian accident lawyer help?
Pedestrian accidents caused by drivers in Albuquerque can quickly become complicated legal cases. Sometimes, the driver who caused the accident denies doing anything wrong. Other times, the at-fault driver’s insurance company refuses to pay the injury victim the financial compensation they rightfully deserve.
Attorney Andras Szantho and the dedicated legal team at Szantho Law Firm understand the complexities of these types of cases and have a strong track record of success in helping victims of pedestrian accidents caused by reckless or negligent drivers. In addition, we work on a contingency fee basis. That means you pay no fees unless we win your case.
Discover what we can do for you. Contact us and schedule a free case evaluation to learn how a New Mexico pedestrian accident attorney can help you navigate the process of recovering compensation for your losses. Our Albuquerque office is conveniently located on Prospect Avenue. We also have an office located in Santa Fe, New Mexico.