With new technology providing both pros and cons to drivers, New Mexico residents may be wondering what the car crash rates are currently like. The National Safety Council issued a preliminary 2017 estimate back in February that may be of interest because it states that for the second year in a row, the number of car crash fatalities has exceeded 40,000.

While the number was 40,327 in 2016, overall traffic fatalities dropped to an estimated 40,100 last year. The death rate per population and per miles traveled both decreased by 2 percent from 2016; the first came to 12.28 deaths per 100,000 people while the second came to 1.25 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles driven. All the same, the last time that the fatality rate was this high, states the NSC, was in 2007. It also represents a 6 percent jump from 2015.

Approximately 4.57 million people were injured on America’s roads in 2017, which is about equal to the previous year. The cost of car accidents and injuries to society was $413.8 billion. The NSC also noted that drivers in the U.S. traveled 1 percent more miles than in 2016.

The estimates were made from monthly data gathered by the NSC from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. It also included the findings of the National Center for Health Statistics.

An injury victim in New Mexico has three years from the time of their accident to file a claim, so if they believe they were not at fault, they can consult with an auto accident attorney about this process. The plaintiff will need to prove to the auto insurance company that the other side was negligent in some way, but a lawyer could hire investigators to gather such proof. The victim can also have their lawyer negotiate for a settlement, going to trial only as a last resort.