Safety and Crashes
In New Mexico, the situation regarding safety on our roadways is dire; the state has ranked #1 in pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 people in 5 of the past 6 years. The Albuquerque metro area ranks as the #2 most dangerous metro area in the nation in Smart Growth America’s 2022 Dangerous by Design Report. The good news is that this issue is getting attention. Member agencies are increasingly investing in Safety Infrastructure, Safety Planning, and New Mexico and the City of Albuquerque have been identified as a Focus State / Focus City by the Federal Highway Administration. In August of 2022, the governing body of the MPO, the Metropolitan Transportation Board, passed a resolution that renewed its commitment to addressing Safety as a Priority.
MRCOG Roadway Safety and Crash Report (2015-2019)
The MRCOG Roadway Safety and Crash Report visualizes five years of NMDOT crash data (2015-2019) for the MRCOG region. This crash report uses online interactive charts and maps to provide the user with a better way to visualize the data and display certain crash factors that are of interest to them. This is an enhancement from previous reports because it allows for more customizable information. For example, if the user would like to look at a map of fatal crashes where speeding was the top contributing factor, that selection can be made in the “What are the Top Contributing Factors” tab. Each tab presented in this report focuses on different elements of the crash data such as where dangerous crashes happen, when crashes tend to happen, what contributing factors lead to crashes, and who is most at risk in traffic crashes.
The MRCOG Roadway Safety and Crash Report (2015-2019) does not prescribe safety countermeasures; those can still be found in the Regional Transportation Safety Action Plan (RTSAP). However, this report does update safety maps that have been published by MRCOG in the recent years, such as the High Fatality and Injury Network (HFIN). This crash report also introduces a new analysis of how crashes impact vulnerable communities. The intent of the new crash report is to help the public and local agencies and other stakeholders better understand safety issues in our region.
MRMPO considers roadway safety a priority in our region. MRMPO endorses the Vision Zero approach to transportation planning and engineering that rebukes the idea that there is an inevitable amount of death and injury that can occur within our public roadways. Traffic collisions are not “accidents,” which implies an incident was unavoidable, but should be referred to as traffic crashes—preventable incidents. The philosophy of Vision Zero is that humans make mistakes, and roadways and traffic policy should be designed in such a way that inevitable mistakes do not result in severe injuries or fatalities.
View the City of Albuquerque’s Vision Zero page for information on what is being done in the City to advance safety for users of all transportation modes.