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Injury - Unintentional Injury Deaths

Summary Indicator Report Data View Options

In 2017, the most common causes of unintentional injury deaths for persons age 0-14 were motor vehicle traffic crash deaths and suffocation, for those 15-64 the leading causes were poisoning and motor vehicle traffic crash, and for persons age 65 years and older the most common causes were falls and motor vehicle traffic crash.

Unintentional Injury Deaths by County, New Mexico, 2015-2019

Unintentional Injury Deaths by Health Region, New Mexico, 2019

Unintentional Injury Deaths by Urban and Rural Counties, New Mexico, 2019

Why Is This Important?

Unintentional injury is the third leading cause of death in New Mexico, as it is in the U.S. Roughly 1,500 New Mexicans die from unintentional injuries each year. The leading mechanisms of unintentional injury death are poisoning (including drug overdose), motor vehicle traffic crash, and falls.


Deaths due to all causes of unintentional injury

Data Sources

  • New Mexico Death Data: Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics (BVRHS), Epidemiology and Response Division, New Mexico Department of Health.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, CDC WONDER Online Database
  • New Mexico Population Estimates: University of New Mexico, Geospatial and Population Studies (GPS) Program.

How the Measure is Calculated

Numerator:Number of unintentional injury deaths. (ICD-10 codes V01-X59, Y85-Y86)
Denominator:The mid-year estimated population of New Mexico

How Are We Doing?

From 1999 through 2017, unintentional injury was consistently the leading cause of death among people 1 to 44 years of age in New Mexico and the 3rd leading cause of death for all ages. Poisoning (specifically, drug overdose) was the leading cause of unintentional injury death from 2007 through 2017, followed by motor vehicle traffic-related injury, fall-related injury, and suffocation. Poisoning deaths have been on the decline since 2014, after rising steadily over previous two decades.

What Is Being Done?

Home safety inspections and modifications: NMDOH is encouraging public safety services to participate in improving home safety. Effective activities for fire departments and emergency medical services include conducting home visits to community members at risk for falls and to provide education about how to make homes safer to prevent falls and other injuries including promoting safe infant sleep practices. Effective activities for police agencies include conducting similar activities when they are called to homes. The Adult Falls prevention partners are promoting exercise and balance falls prevention programs -- Otago, A Matter of Balance (MOB), Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance, and Tai Chi for Arthritis. The objectives of these programs are to improve strength, balance, mobility, and daily functioning to reduce one's risk of fall and related injuries. The Opioid Overdose Prevention Program is working to enhance the effectiveness of the Prescription Monitoring Program. The Opioid Overdose Prevention Program is contracting with multi-disciplinary work groups in high-burden communities to develop local responses to the opioid epidemic. The Opioid Overdose Prevention Program is conducting rigorous evaluations of New Mexico laws, policies, and regulations to compare them with evidence of governmental and non-governmental public health programs and research. The Opioid Overdose Prevention Program is sharing public health and public safety information with the goal of blocking access to diverted opioids and illicit drugs. The Office of Injury Prevention is supporting hospital-based safe sleep training for parents of newborns before hospital discharge.

Indicator Data Last Updated On 04/15/2021, Published on 04/08/2022
Injury Epidemiology Unit, Epidemiology and Response Division, New Mexico Department of Health, 1190 S. Saint Francis Drive, Room N1105, P.O. Box 26110, Santa Fe, NM, 87502. Contact Garry Kelley, Senior Injury Epidemiologist, by telephone at (505) 827-0726 or email to