Motorcycle riders in New Mexico are at higher risk of getting in accidents, and they also suffer more serious injuries than other drivers. While motorcyclists are often at fault, drivers of other vehicles are the cause of more crashes. Both motorcycle riders and drivers need to practice certain safety protocols in order to keep everyone safe on the road.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclist fatalities happen way more frequently than deaths of other drivers. While the causes are often related to the other motor vehicle operators, alcohol use by motorcyclists was involved 43% of the time. While not riding after drinking is an obvious answer to the problem, other causes of fatalities are related to the lack of helmet use and visibility issues such as not wearing bright colors.

Because they are so much harder to notice on the road, the American Association of Retired Persons offers some tips to motorists to keep accidents to a minimum. These include:

  • Being extra aware – motorcycles are narrow and small, so it is important to constantly scan for them and take extra care before turning or moving into a different lane
  • Respect their space – never share a lane with motorcyclists and leave sufficient room 
  • Increase following space – distance should be a minimum of three seconds, and more for inclement weather
  • Give them the right-of-way – this is a common driver error
  • Drive defensively – as with other motorists, practice defensive driving techniques to prepare for the weaving, downshifting and other common driving techniques of motorcyclists