The Most Dangerous Roads in New Mexico

The most dangerous roads in New Mexico are the ones that are the most popular with tourists. The mountainous terrain and lack of guardrails can make for some treacherous driving conditions, but that doesn’t stop people from coming to see the beautiful scenery.

Every year, there are several accidents on these roads, and many of them are serious. If you’re planning on driving in New Mexico, be sure to familiarize yourself with the most dangerous roads in the state. That way, you can be prepared for what lies ahead. Thanks for reading!

New Mexico Accident Statistics

In 2021, New Mexico reported 40,769 motor vehicle accidents resulting in 483 fatalities and 17,971 injuries. The New Mexico Department of Transportation also reports that the state had a fatality rate of 1.33 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, which is higher than the national average.

New Mexico, as of 2021, has a motor vehicle accident every 13 minutes, a crash injury every 29 minutes, and a traffic fatality every 18 hours. [1]

Dangerous Roads in New Mexico

New Mexico is home to some of the most treacherous roads in the United States. A combination of inclement weather, mountainous terrain, and inexperienced drivers can all contribute to the danger posed by these roads.

When faced with heavy rain, snowfall, or fog, visibility can be dangerously reduced, making driving more difficult and dangerous. Additionally, if drivers are not familiar with the winding mountain roads that characterize New Mexico’s landscape, navigating through them can become an intimidating experience.

Furthermore, potholes and damaged pavement can cause drivers to panic if they do not anticipate it in advance. Taking any type of risk when driving on any New Mexican road should be avoided at all costs as it could result in serious injury or death.

New Mexico Has Some of the Most Treacherous Roads in the United States

There are a few in particular that stand out due to their hazardous nature; among them:

  • US 550 between Aztec and Bloomfield
  • I-25 through Albuquerque
  • NM 64 between Santa Fe and Taos
  • US 180 from Reserve to Silver City

Aztek and Bloomfield

US 550 is considered one of the most dangerous roads due to its narrow two-lane highway with narrow shoulders that makes the drive a nerve-wracking experience.


I-25 through Albuquerque is especially dangerous due to immense traffic and an abundance of shops and businesses off the interstate which make it difficult for drivers who don’t pay strict attention.


Santa Fe and Taos

NM 64 between Santa Fe and Taos is filled with cliffs on one side, forcing drivers close to the edge of these narrow mountain passes at times.

Silver City

Lastly, US 180 from Reserve to Silver City involves hairpin turns sporadically placed throughout the route, creating a challenging driving experience for even experienced motorists. All drivers should be aware of these routes if they’re planning a trip to New Mexico.

Offer Tips for How to Stay Safe While Driving on These Roads

Driving on the most dangerous roads in New Mexico can be a nerve-wracking experience, so it’s important to know how to protect yourself in these situations. Always drive defensively, assume that other drivers do not have your best interests in mind, and always leave plenty of space between their vehicles and yours.

Observe posted speed limits; it’s better to go a little slower than to risk getting a ticket or worse. Also make sure that you are well-rested before driving late at night, as you will be more alert and able to react if necessary.

Bring supplies such as food and water with you on long trips in case anything goes wrong; this extra preparation can help ensure your safety should something go awry. Lastly, remain vigilant in your awareness of the conditions of the road itself. These tips can help keep you safe while navigating New Mexico’s most dangerous streets.

Offer Tips for How to Stay Safe While Driving on These Roads

New Mexico's History of Accidents

New Mexico drivers can tell plenty of stories about the perils of navigating the state’s most dangerous roads. Even if you obey all the speed limits and remain attentive, driving on these roads can feel like traversing a minefield.

Take, for instance, State Highway 126 in Quay County — an area notorious for negligent drivers. Reports tell of multi-car pileups occurring suddenly when multiple drivers fail to yield or respect the posted limits.

There are also stories of individuals making sudden drastic movements to avoid collisions — only for them themselves to end up careening off the road! If you know someone with experience on these roads, do yourself a favor and take their advice seriously — New Mexico has some tricky places to drive that can make one wrong decision be your last.

Be Cautious and Keep Alert - New Mexico Accidents Happen in Seconds

Driving is a skill that requires caution and attention to ensure everyone’s safety. Unfortunately, it can be too easy to forget this responsibility when traveling without consideration for the road ahead, particularly on unfamiliar roads.

New Mexico is no stranger to a danger on the road either – some of the most dangerous roads in the country are located here.

While these roads tend to get most of the attention and concern from drivers, remaining aware and alert while traversing any road should always be a priority.

Whether it’s a short drive around town or a lengthy cross-country adventure, make sure you do your part in driving as safely as possible.

New Mexico’s roads can be dangerous, but if you take the proper precautions and use caution while driving, you can stay safe. Be sure to avoid these most dangerous roads in New Mexico, or drive with extra care if you must travel on them.

And always remember: even the safest of drivers can find themselves in an accident. Drive defensively and always be aware of your surroundings to help ensure a safe trip for everyone involved.

Be Cautious and Keep Alert - New Mexico Accidents Happen in Seconds

If you have been injured in an accident in New Mexico, call the Albuquerque car accident attorneys of Goldberg & Loren at (505) 317-5813 or fill out the form for more information.


[1] New Mexico Department of Transportation. (2023, April 26). New Mexico Traffic Crash Annual Report. In The University of New Mexico. Retrieved November 29, 2023, from

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