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Motor Vehicle Traffic Crash Death Rates by County, New Mexico, 2016-2020

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Why Is This Important?

Motor vehicle traffic crash-related injuries were the second leading cause of injury death in 2020 for New Mexicans aged 1 to 24 years (11.4/100,000 population). Males between the ages of 15 to 24 years die from motor vehicle traffic crash-related injuries at a rate that is nearly twice the rate for females of the same age. Rural and mixed rural-urban counties have higher rates of motor vehicle traffic crash-related injury death. The increased risk in rural and mixed rural-urban counties may be due to a greater number of vehicle miles driven, limited policing of speed limits, increased prevalence of two-lane roads, and longer response times of paramedics and other emergency responders after an injurious motor vehicle crash has occurred. Distracted driving, speeding, fatigue, and drunk driving are important causes of motor vehicle traffic crash-related injury deaths.

Motor Vehicle Traffic Crash Death Rates by County, New Mexico, 2016-2020

  • #This count or rate is statistically unstable (RSE >0.30), and may fluctuate widely across time periods due to random variation (chance). Please use caution in interpreting this value, or combine years, areas, or age groups to increase the population size.
  • ##The estimate has a relative standard error greater than 50% and does not meet standards for reliability. A count or rate such as this should not be used to inform decisions. Try combining years, areas, or age groups to increase the population size.


The number of unintentional injury deaths due to motor vehicle traffic crashes per 100,000 population. Motor vehicle traffic crash deaths are unintentional deaths from motor vehicle crashes that occurred on a public roadway.

Data Notes

Rates have been age-adjusted using the direct method and the 2000 U.S. standard population.

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:The number of motor vehicle traffic crash-related unintentional injury deaths per year
Denominator:The mid-year estimated population.

Data Issues

  • Death Certificate Data

    Death certificate information is submitted electronically by funeral directors, who obtain demographic information from an informant, a close family member of the decedent. The NMDOH Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics (BVRHS) does annual trainings for funeral directors and local registrars and the death certificate information goes through extensive scrutiny for completeness and consistency. The cause of death is certified by the decedent's physician or the physician that attended the death. Accidental and suspicious deaths are certified by the Office of the Medical Investigator. When death certificates are received the cause of death literals are keyed into software locally by the BVRHS, then shipped to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) where they are machine coded into ICD-10 cause-of-death codes. NCHS returns the ICD-10 codes to BVRHS where the death records are updated.

  • New Mexico Population Estimates

    All population estimates apply to July 1 of the selected year. These estimates are considered the most accurate estimates for the state of New Mexico and should match those found on the University of New Mexico Geospatial and Population Studies website. Estimates include decimal fractions. Census tract population estimates were summed to produce County and Small Area population estimates. Population estimate totals may vary due to rounding. Population estimates for previous years are occasionally revised as new information becomes available. When publishing trend data, always be sure that your rates for earlier years match current rates on NM-IBIS that have been calculated with the most up-to-date population estimates.

Health Topic Pages Related to: Injury - Motor Vehicle Traffic Crash Deaths

Community Health Resources and Links

Medical literature can be queried at the PubMed website.

Indicator Data Last Updated On 05/16/2022, Published on 05/16/2022
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