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Helmet Laws in New Mexico

Helmet Laws in New Mexico

Do You Have to Wear a Helmet in New Mexico?  

In New Mexico, all motorcycle and bicycle riders under the age of 18 are required by law to wear helmets. These helmets must meet or exceed federal safety regulations. The law is clear: no person under the age of eighteen shall operate a motorcycle or bicycle unless they are wearing a safety helmet that is securely fastened on their head. New Mexico also implemented the Child Helmet Safety Act in 2007, which requires all persons under the age of 18 years to wear a helmet when riding bicycles. 

The rules apply not only to riders but also to passengers. For motorcyclists, the helmets need to be DOT-approved and equipped with proper reflectors. Failure to comply with these laws can result in fines and penalties. 

Choosing the Right Helmet 

When choosing a helmet, ensure that it meets or exceeds the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) standards. Look for a DOT sticker on the outside back of the helmet. Additionally, a good helmet should fit snugly but comfortably and sit level on your head without tilting backward or forward. 

Good Safety Practices & Maintenance Tips 

To maintain the effectiveness of helmets, they should be replaced every five years or immediately after a crash, even if there is no visible damage. It's essential to keep the helmet clean and store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. 

The Importance of Wearing a Helmet 

Wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle or bicycle is not just a legal requirement in many areas; it's also a critical safety measure. Studies have shown that helmets can reduce the risk of head injury by up to 85% in the event of an accident. Helmets act as a barrier between your head and the hard surface of the road, absorbing the shock of an impact and preventing or minimizing brain injury. 

Understanding Comparative Negligence 

Comparative negligence is a legal principle that assigns fault in an accident proportionally among the parties involved based on their degree of negligence. In the context of a motorcycle accident, if you are found partially at fault, your compensation for injuries and damages could be reduced by your percentage of fault. This is where the principle of comparative negligence comes into play. 

A critical factor that can influence a rider's percentage of fault in an accident is not wearing a helmet. In some jurisdictions, failing to wear a helmet – even if it's not legally required for adults – could be considered an act of negligence. If an injury claim goes to court, the jury may consider the rider's failure to wear a helmet when determining the percentage of fault.  

Contact Our Motorcycle Accident Attorney 

Michael Doyle, Attorney at Law offers exceptional legal services to individuals injured in motorcycle crashes. Our firm meticulously investigates each case, determining fault, and negotiating with insurance companies to help clients receive fair compensation for their injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. Our commitment to justice and our client's well-being, combined with our legal experience, make us an invaluable ally in these challenging situations. 

Call (505) 219-2176 to get started on your case today.  


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