Motorcycle Driving in New Mexico – The Rules and Repercussions

Albuquerque Motorcycle Accident Attorney

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys are here with some key information on motorcycle driving. In particular, there are plenty of rules and repercussions to keep in mind when driving a motorcycle. Additionally, there are also a number of precautions that motorcycle, car, and truck drivers can take to safely share New Mexico roads. Let our Albuquerque motorcycle accident lawyers fill you in on the main ideas.


Motorcycle drivers in New Mexico require a specific license that differs from Class C vehicles or larger trucks. Further, people acquiring their motorcycle license for the first time must complete a motorcycle skills test or an equivalent approved basic safety course.

There are also some requirements for motorcycles themselves. They must have appropriate seating equipped when carrying a passenger, a minimum of one (but no more than two) headlamps, proper footrests, optimally functioning handlebars, a horn, and more.

Additionally, all drivers (including motorcyclists) are required to carry a certain minimum amount of liability insurance. In New Mexico, the minimum insurance policy is as follows:

  • $25,000 for injury or death of one person in an accident
  • $50,000 for injury or death of two or more people in an accident
  • $10,000 for property damage in any given accident

Of course, you should always carry as much insurance above the minimum as you can afford. While the minimum insurance can certainly help if you get in an accident, it’s often not enough when serious injuries and much damage is involved. You don’t want to be going out of pocket for those costs, so carry more insurance than you think you’ll need, and contact Lerner and Rowe if you get in a crash.

Road Rules

There are plenty of other rules of the road when it comes to motorcycle driving. Here are just a few to keep in mind:

  • Helmets are required by law in New Mexico for anyone under age 18. Furthermore, all helmets must meet U.S. Department of Transportation standards (i.e. mandatory reflectorization and other requirements). Fines may be issued for those who do not wear motorcycle helmets.
  • If your motorcycle does not have a fixed windshield, eye protection is required for the driver. This can be in the form of a face shield (attached to the motorcycle helmet), goggles, or safety glasses.
  • At any time, a motorcyclist’s vehicle must pass a random safety inspection.
  • Certain noise ordinances prevent motorcycles from being too loud. In Albuquerque, motorcycles cannot go over 82 dB when riding 40 mph or under, and they also cannot go over 86 dB when riding over 40 mph.
  • Turn signals are mandatory! Even if your blinkers don’t work, you must use hand signals to indicate lane switching and turning.

Safety Tips

Lastly, there are some common safety practices that can make your journey on the road all the more safe. Keep these tips at the forefront when riding a motorcycle:

  • Lane splitting is a potentially dangerous practice and is prohibited in the state of New Mexico. Stay in your own lane and don’t ride down the middle line.
  • Choose a route that suits your ability. Don’t push your skills beyond their limits.
  • Try to ride during good weather. Bad weather can create dangers for everyone on the road.
  • Keep an eye out for animals that may unexpectedly cross onto the road. Some animals can spring out of nowhere and cause damage, so watch out.
  • Be a defensive driver. Let aggressive, angry people pass you by, and stay a good distance away from erratic drivers.
  • Wear the right gear when on a motorcycle. Motorcyclists have no seatbelts or airbag protection, so proper gear is important, especially when an accident occurs.
  • Get plenty of sleep, and eat a good meal before riding. You don’t want to ride while tired or hungry, as you can lose focus while driving.

Need Help from Our Albuquerque Motorcycle Accident Lawyers?

If you need help from a motorcycle accident lawyer in Albuquerque, contact Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys right away! Our lawyers know how to fight for the compensation you deserve. Our office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. You can also feel free to call us anytime at 505-544-4444.

Additionally, you can get in touch with us through our online contact form or by taking advantage of our LiveChat feature. Consultations are free, and we don’t collect a penny until we win your case. So don’t wait; contact Lerner and Rowe today!

The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.