Car accidents are a fact of life on our urban highways and streets. In 2019, in Rio Rancho, there were 1,270 total crashes, which means there were nearly 3.5 accidents per day that year. The causes for these accidents range from distracted driving, to alcohol involvement, to interactions with pedestrians and bicyclists. The location and traffic along that route also play roles in the frequency and severity of accidents. So, where did the most crashes occur in Rio Rancho, and how can you best avoid them?
Rio Rancho Accident Hot Spots
Overall, relatively few accidents occur on rural interstates and non-interstates. An overwhelming majority happen on urban sections of roadway. For example, of Rio Rancho’s 1,270 crashes in 2019, 1,268 of those occurred in the metropolitan area.
U.S. Highways 550 and 528
U.S. Highway 550 just northwest of I-25 is particularly laden with accidents. It has multiple locations just beyond the intersection that count between 21 and 50 crashes each in a single year.
Several severe accidents with fatalities have also occurred on this stretch of road, such as a head-on collision that occurred in 2017 killing five, including an infant and a toddler. In 2016, both drivers died when a Ford pickup traveling northbound from Rio Rancho drifted into the path of an oncoming Toyota truck. The accident occurred on U.S. Highway 550 north of Unser Boulevard near the Santa Ana Pueblo. N.M. State Highway 528 is also fraught with accidents. This is particularly true at the intersection of 528 and Southern Boulevard. A crash near this intersection killed a 12-year-old girl in June 2020 when the car she was riding in was struck by a driver going more than 100 miles an hour. Along Southern, the intersection at Golf Course Road is also an accident hot spot.
Finally, traffic accidents also pile up along Unser Boulevard south of Southern, as far as Westside Boulevard. Because these are some of the most frequently traveled arteries in the city, it’s easy to see how collisions rack up along these routes. Consider choosing alternate routes through the city to avoid these locales.
Whether drivers are daydreaming or texting, distracted driving is the leading cause of traffic accidents. With the COVID-19 pandemic and the holiday season coinciding in the fall/winter of 2020, drivers may be more distracted than ever. Ongoing construction, particularly along U.S. 550 and N.M. 528, may also add to drivers’ obstacles. Additionally, many crashes occur over the winter months. In 2019 in Rio Rancho, 454 of the city’s 1,270 crashes happened from November to February.
It’s wise to drive defensively to help keep your loved ones safe. Avoid accident-inducing behaviors like following too closely, failing to yield the right of way, and traveling at an excessive speed. Slow down, take your time (and don’t speed through red lights), and avoid going out if you can. If you do have to go out, we’d like to share a few things to keep in mind.
Safe Driving Tips
The height of crashes occurs between 4 and 6 p.m., in other words during the evening commute. If you’d like to reduce your chances of accidents, and you’re able to do so, consider traveling at other times of day. Early in the morning is an optimal time for excursions in relatively crash-free hours. Additionally, most crashes occur on weekdays. Conducting errands or outings on the weekends may reduce your chances of encountering or being part of a car accident.
If all doesn’t go as planned and you find yourself in a traffic accident, select an attorney to help you determine all your options regarding personal injury claims and auto insurance disputes. Contact Sanchez and Piñon, Rio Rancho’s accident attorneys, for a free consultation.