Northbound Interstate 25 near the Jefferson Boulevard off-ramp in Albuquerque reportedly saw a massive jump in vehicle crashes following the start of a $1.8 million roadway improvement project. In the month of August, a total of 23 New Mexico accidents occurred there. In contrast, only one crash per month was reported on the same stretch of roadway from January through May. Some have speculated the extension of a fourth lane that previously required drivers to merge near the Comanche Road exit has caused the increase. Now, drivers must merge near the Jefferson exit instead.
According to Phil Gallegos, a spokesperson for the New Mexico Department of Transportation, construction crews added to the shoulder of the roadway, painted additional road striping, and installed an overhead sign to warn drivers of the change. Still, Gallegos stated he believes congestion previously seen at the Comanche merge was simply transferred up the road to the new merge. An additional 500 feet of interstate was also reportedly added in response to the increased number of accidents.
Albuquerque Police Department Traffic Lieutenant Chad Dolan stated the increase in accidents is likely due to reduced speed limits during construction and driver rubber-necking. Dolan stated drivers too often cause additional wrecks when they focus on crashes that already occurred and fail to watch the roadway ahead. He also said the stretch of roadway is normally quite busy due to the number of businesses located nearby.
Gallegos stated he believes part of the problem is drivers who reach excessive speeds and then slam on their brakes or try to force merge into remaining traffic lanes. He said a bond measure that will go before voters next month would extend the fourth lane of northbound Interstate 25 to Paseo. Either way, traffic accidents on the stretch of roadway following completion of the construction project have decreased. In September, only four multi-vehicle crashes were reported.
According to the Albuquerque Police Department, the stretch of Interstate 25 near Jefferson Boulevard is not among the top five intersections in the city for crashes. Police said two of the most dangerous locations include where Paseo del Norte intersects with Jefferson Boulevard and where it intersects with Coors. Additionally, where Montgomery intersects with both Wyoming and San Mateo made the top five list as did the intersection of Montano and Coors.
Too often, people traveling on New Mexico roadways are hurt or killed by careless, inattentive, or negligent drivers. The victims of a car crash in New Mexico may be eligible to receive compensation for their pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages and benefits, and any disability that resulted from the incident. The close relatives of someone who is killed by a negligent driver may also be able to recover compensation for funeral expenses as well as other damages. Contact a skilled New Mexico personal injury attorney to discuss your options for recovery.
If you or a loved one was injured or killed in a motor vehicle collision, you should contact the Fine Law Firm. Our hardworking Albuquerque personal injury lawyers have more than 100 years of combined experience representing accident victims throughout the State of New Mexico. At the Fine Law Firm, our capable attorneys are available to help you collect the compensation you deserve following an unexpected injury accident. To schedule a free confidential case evaluation, give the experienced lawyers at the Fine Law Firm a call at (505) 889-3463.
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Study Finds Longer Yellow Traffic Lights Increased Intersection Safety in Albuquerque, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, October 5, 2012
UPDATED: ABQ’s 5 Worst Intersections, by Patrick Lohmann and ABQ New Staff, Albuquerque Journal