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What are the helmet laws for motorcyclists in New Mexico?

Motorcyclists are highly vulnerable to injuries. One of the more common types of injuries for riders is the head injury. A head injury can have many life altering effects. A person who has suffered such an injury may become permanently disabled, requiring lifelong medical care. This is why it is important for motorcycle riders to wear helmets.

But, are there laws mandating helmet use in New Mexico? Everyone 17 and younger in New Mexico is required by law to wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle. This holds true for every type of low-power cycle vehicle that can reach speeds of greater than 30 miles per hour or has an engine displacement more than 50 cc.

Even though it is not mandated by law, those 18 and older can benefit immensely from helmet use. Statistics have shown that helmet use can dramatically reduce the risk of head injuries for motorcycle riders.

Beyond the safety improvements and the laws for minors, there are other key legal reasons for wearing a helmet when riding a motorcycle. If a motorcyclist becomes involved in an accident with a negligent driver, the rider may choose to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. However, if the motorcyclist was not wearing a helmet at the time of a crash, that rider may be prevented from obtaining the full compensation they are owed. Failure to wear a helmet may constitute contributory negligence, which makes matters more difficult.

A motorcycle accident case can contain many legal nuances like this. This is why it is often important to approach such cases with an airtight legal plan that anticipates every possible complication.

Source: FindLaw, "Helmet Laws and Motorcycle Accidents," Accessed on Sept. 8, 2015

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