The number of NMSU on campus car accidents is rising


Mitchell Allred

The number of on campus car accidents often spike at the beginning of the semester, according to the NMSUPD.

With the massive influx of traffic during school hours, more car accidents have occurred between students on the New Mexico State University campus.  

Andrew Bowen, the deputy chief of the New Mexico State Police Department said that the NMSUPD has responded to about 25 car accidents on campus this semester thus far.  

“I have some numbers in front of me and it looks like they are about mid-twenties,” Bowen said. 

Bowen explained that the number of car accidents the department responds to monthly depends on the month, compensating for student breaks when fewer people are on campus.   

“It varies, the spikes are always around times when school is in session, and you can see the decline in the summer and then it’ll spike up again in August and October. You can actually see that when students leave for break [the numbers] go down and then when they come back it goes back up,” Bowen explained.  

Bowen said most accidents are caused by drivers not putting their full attention on the road.  

“There are several things, driver inattention does contribute quite a bit. In our parking lots, improper backing seems to be the most common issue. In parking lots, the most common thing is that we have a vehicle is backing into another,” Bowen said.  

Bowen explained that this semester about 20 percent of the crashes responded to, caused injuries that required ambulatory care.  

“Since school started, I believe we’ve had about five out of roughly 23 crashes required ambulance care,” Bowen said.  

Bowen said that traffic can usually be held up at least 15 minutes due to the congestion caused by an accident.  

“The thing with crashes is that you have to divert traffic from that area, so you can see back-ups of 15-20 minutes if not longer. One of the things that really throws a wrench in things is when we have to close roadways because of a crash. Drivers get very used to going a certain direction, especially here in Las Cruces, they’re used to going one way every day and the minute we have to close a road people get really confused and frustrated,” Bowen said.   

Jaime Zamora, a freshman studying Mechanical Engineering at New Mexico State University, said that he only lives 15 minutes away from campus but leaves his house much earlier to make sure he gets to class on time. 

“I live about 15 minutes away, but I leave about 30 minutes early just to be safe,” Zamora said. 

As a commuter student, Zamora takes Interstate-25 to get to school but must leave early in order to beat the traffic jam.  

“Since I leave early, I try to beat the 8 o’ clock traffic but it really just depends on the day, the highway can still be congested,” Zamora said. 

Zamora explained that when headed South on I-25 towards the university a car accident really slows everything down. 

“I’ve definitely been on the highway when there is an excess amount of traffic due to an accident and it usually backs up the highway at least 15 minutes,” Zamora said. 

Facebook Comments