ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Spring is here and that means New Mexico’s motorcyclists are gearing up to hit the road. State officials are urging drivers and motorcyclists work together to stay safe.

During the most recent legislative session, lawmakers passed House Memorial 45, which makes may Motorcycle Awareness Month in New Mexico. The idea is to highlight road safety.

“It’s job-one on New Mexico roads for both motorcyclists and drivers to share the road safely,” New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Patrick M. Allen said in a press release. “Stay alert for both fellow commuters and traffic hazards.”

Motorcyclists and car drivers both have a role to play. Helmets are a key part of staying safe while riding.

According to state and federally compiled data, just over half of all New Mexico motorcyclists who died in a crash weren’t wearing a helmet. That statistic is from 2020, the most recent data available.

Here’s what New Mexico recommends for keeping safe:

For motorcyclists 

  • Complete rider education courses and obtain a current motorcycle license 
  • Wear a DOT-compliant helmet and other protective gear 
  • Follow the speed limit and adhere to all traffic safety signs, signals, and laws 
  • Signal properly to other drivers 
  • Never ride while impaired or distracted 

For other drivers when sharing the road 

  • Observe all traffic signs, signals, laws and adhere to the posted speed limit 
  • Yield to motorcyclists, especially while turning at intersections 
  • Avoid distractions, including dangerous cellphone use behind the wheel 
  • Use turn signals when changing lanes or merging with traffic 
  • Check all mirrors and blinds spots before changing lanes 
  • Give more distance when driving behand a motorcyclist than other passenger vehicles