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The Most Dangerous Intersections in Albuquerque, NM

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How to identify risk and safely navigate crash hotspots

Intersections are inherently complicated places. Each one presents unique challenges: an array of signage, sudden turn lanes, short merges, detours, and unpredictable traffic signals. In one simple turn at an average 4-way intersection, there are a staggering 32 opportunities for a crash. 

In New Mexico, about 20-35 percent of deadly motor vehicle accidents happen at intersections. Some intersections are more lethal and dangerous than others. Good driving behavior and understanding which intersections are high-risk can help prevent car accidents.

What are the most dangerous intersections in Albuquerque?

There are different ways to define what makes an intersection dangerous. One is to examine crash data. The following are Albuquerque intersections with a history of dangerous near misses, severe hits, and fatal accidents, according to the Albuquerque Police Department:
I-40 at

  • Louisiana Blvd
  • Juan Tabo Blvd
  • San Mateo Blvd

Frontage roads at

  • Menaul Blvd 
  • 2nd St
  • Osuna/San Mateo Blvd
  • All intersections on frontage roads under I-25

Montaño Rd at

  • Coors Blvd
  • Culture Drive NE
  • Pan American Fwy NE
  • 2nd St. 

Wyoming Blvd and Central (Rt 66) SE

Avenida Cesar Chavez and I-25

Coors Blvd and Dellyne Ave NW

Oak/Locust St SE at

  • Lead Ave
  • Coal Ave
  • MLK Jr Ave

San Mateo Blvd at

  • Montgomery Blvd NE
  • Lomas Blvd NE

12th St at

  • Roma Ave
  • Lomas Blvd
  • Marquette Ave

Pinpointing a single “worst” intersection in Albuquerque is difficult and subjective. But all the intersections listed above, and many more, have elevated risk of dangerous collisions.

Which areas of Albuquerque have the most dangerous intersections?

Certain neighborhoods consistently report a higher incidence of intersection accidents on average, including:

  • Uptown
  • Eastside
  • Old Town
  • Downtown
  • South Valley 

What are the leading causes of intersection crashes in New Mexico?

Intersections are complex traffic hubs where multiple streams of vehicles meet, increasing the likelihood of crashes due to conflicting movements and environmental factors. Complex signal timings, unexpected maneuvers by other drivers, and the presence of vulnerable road users like pedestrians and cyclists further amplify the risk of accidents at intersections. In New Mexico, some of the most common factors in intersection accidents are:

  • Failure to yield right of way
  • Distracted driving
  • Racing to beat the red light (speeding hoping the light stays yellow)
  • Speeding
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs

It may seem obvious who is at fault in an intersection accident, but who had the right of way is often disputed. When that happens, an experienced Albuquerque car accident attorney can investigate the crash and negotiate aggressively for maximum compensation. 

What is the riskiest type of intersection?

The most dangerous types of intersections are four-way intersections and T-intersections.

Roads in a four-way intersection can come from any angle, but in Albuquerque they are mostly perpendicular due to the city’s grid-like layout. When there is a traffic signal, drivers should only proceed through four-ways when presented with a green light or there is a clear and safe option to make a right turn (after a complete stop) on a red light. At four-way intersections lacking traffic lights, vehicles gain right of way in the order they reach the intersection. In a T-intersection, vehicles on the major roadway always have the right of way. 

What is the safest type of intersection?

Roundabouts, five-point (or more) intersections, and L-intersections account for less than 5 percent of all fatal crashes at New Mexico intersections.

However, in the same way it is difficult to identify the “worst” intersection in Albuquerque, it is hard to determine the safest. Neighborhoods where comparatively fewer intersection accidents occur include:

  • North Valley/Los Ranchos
  • Westside 
  • West side of the I-25 corridor
  • Corrales (Except for the Alameda Bridge area)

What reduces crash risk at intersections?

Safely driving through intersections requires drivers to recognize cross path types and the rules associated with them. Here are some tips drivers can use to safely navigate busy intersections:

  • Prepare to stop. When approaching an intersection, drivers should lift their foot off the accelerator and position it above the brake pedal. 
  • Stay alert. Exercise good judgment by monitoring the traffic light for its duration. If it has been green for an extended period, anticipate a potential yellow light.
  • Tap the brakes. When approaching a red or yellow light, tap the brake a few times before fully applying it. This alerts potentially distracted drivers.
  • Drive defensively. When stopped at the intersection and the light turns green, look both ways before proceeding. Someone could be running the red light.

While these tips can reduce risk, even the most cautious motorist can wind up the victim of a drunk driver, red-light runner, or another type of negligent driver. An attorney can ensure a victim’s rights are protected while they focus on healing.

Who is liable in an intersection accident?

Whether it’s a roundabout, four-way intersection, straight stretch of highway, or another type of roadway, the driver who causes the crash is the one liable. That means compensating victims for the lost wages and medical expenses associated with injuries like:

  • Whiplash
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Broken or fractured bones
  • Soft tissue damage
  • Frayed or severed nerves

The problem with intersection accidents is that it’s not always clear who was at fault. It may not be obvious who had the right of way or who violated traffic laws. Witnesses may disagree on what happened. Physical evidence can be contradictory. Only an attorney with extensive experience investigating these types of accidents can get to the bottom of what happened and find out who was responsible.

Why do you need an Albuquerque car accident lawyer?

Right of way isn’t always clear in an intersection accident. There’s a higher likelihood of it being a case of "he-said-she-said" with regard to liability. Drivers who were injured in a crash at an intersection should be prepared for insurance companies to put pressure on them to settle fast. Or they might claim that the victim caused the collision. Plus, even if liability is not disputed, the insurance company may downplay your injuries to pay you less in damages.

That’s why you need your own advocate, fighting for your rights. If you’ve been injured or lost a loved one in an intersection crash, contact an experienced Albuquerque car accident attorney who will fight for maximum results. Make sure you get legal advice before you accept the insurance company’s money. The consultation is free, and the advice you get on your rights and options could change your life. Contact a verified lawyer in your area today.

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