Unofficial Total of NM Walking Fatalities for 2018: 83

Preliminary numbers are in from UNM’s Traffic Research Unit on 2018 roadway deaths, with 83 identified deaths to those walking NM roadways last year. Here is a month-by-month breakdown from TRU:

2018 tru total killed

The numbers continue to show the relentless trend of record/near record deaths to pedestrians, in particular higher percentages of walkers killed in relation to all traffic fatalities. Speaking of percentages, one bit of information from these TRU reports BB hasn’t mentioned much is a statistical look at percentage of deaths with alcohol involvement. Here is a complete, yet preliminary look at that:

2018 alcohol tru

The info as presented directly above is a tad confusing. The 7.5% figure under “Percent Pedestrian Fatalities” refers to ALL traffic deaths. Taking the 29 “Pedestrian Fatalities” with alcohol-involvement along with the overall total of 83 pedestrian deaths, we get 34.9% as the current, preliminary figure for alcohol-involvement.

Emphasis here is on “preliminary,” as many police crash/investigation reports mention a backlog of pending toxicology reports at the Office of the Medical Investigator. The most recent TRU annual report with more final information is from 2016, noting there that “62% of pedestrians killed were under the influence of alcohol.”

2016 tru ped alcohol

Note further that the two tables above show that pedestrian alcohol-involvement is substantially lower when non-fatal crashes are included. One big question in all this goes back to toxicology reporting. In addition to the OMI backlog, it’s unclear just how thorough assessment of alcohol-involvement actually is, and BB is seeking to better understand the process by which these statistics are compiled. For instance, do officers typically draw blood for toxicology assessment in non-fatal pedestrian crashes?

More about that process and the validity of these findings in posts to follow, hopefully. As with anything, Better Burque very much welcomes insights from readers who might be able to better inform it and you about such things. If you know something, drop us a line.

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