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NM’s No. 2 for dangerous drivers; updates on MVD and I-25

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — WE’RE NO 2 IN DANGEROUS DRIVERS: A new study by Zutobi Drivers Ed looks at “U.S. road traffic accident data to create profiles of what a dangerous driver looks like – from their age and gender, to where they live.”

Guess what. They look like New Mexicans. We’re No. 2.

Based on 2019 data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality and Injury Reporting System Tool, Wyoming took the top spot, with 55 fatal crashes per 100,000 people. In second place is “New Mexico: With one of the nation’s highest rates of drunk-driving deaths, it’s no surprise that New Mexico is in the top three. The state has around 48 fatal crashes per 100,000 people.”

On the other end of the spectrum is Massachusetts, with 10 fatal crashes per 100,000, and D.C., with 9.1 per 100,000.

As for age, 25-34 is the worst in the nation, with that age group involved in 20.5% of wrecks (3.3 million); 35-44 comes in second, with 15.3% (2.4 million); then it’s 45-54 at 13.1% (2.1 million). Our oldest drivers, those over 74, accounted for the fewest crashes among legal-age drivers, with 3.5% (572,038 wrecks).

And “new drivers aged 16-20 are involved in 11.8% of total accidents, which is approximately 1.9 million per year.”

Children under age 16 account for roughly 8.6% of those involved, presumably as passengers, in 1.4 million crashes.

Regarding gender, men were responsible for 54.1% (8.8 million wrecks); women for 45.9% (7.4 million).

See the study at https://zutobi.com/us/driver-guides/most-dangerous-drivers-in-the-us.

MVD HAS MORE APPOINTMENTS: A news release from the state Taxation and Revenue Department, parent of the Motor Vehicle Division, says, “Improving public health conditions in most New Mexico counties have allowed for expanded capacity at Motor Vehicle Division field offices, many of which now have next-day appointment availability.”

While road tests are allowed only in “green” or “turquoise” counties, most offices are handling all services that cannot be completed online, according to the release. Online services include vehicle registration renewals, license renewals and address changes. A full list is on the website. First-time Real ID licenses and ID cards do require in-person visits.

And appointments are still required; sign up at mvdonline.com. Customers can wait in their vehicles and will get a text when it’s their turn to go inside.

I-25/CÉSAR CHÁVEZ ON LIST: Christina asks in an email, “Do you have any information on when the Interstate 25/César Chávez exit will be updated? The intersection is an embarrassment! It is long overdue for a face-lift.”

Kimberly Gallegos, who handles information for the state Department of Transportation, says, “This portion of the I-25 South Corridor has been studied and was identified as a possible future project. As you know, both the Montgomery and Gibson interchange projects are approaching, and this one will more than likely follow once funding becomes available and it can be programmed.”

Editorial page editor D’Val Westphal tackles commuter issues for the metro area on Mondays. Reach her at 823-3858; dwestphal@abqjournal.com; or 7777 Jefferson NE, Albuquerque, NM, 87109.

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