SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Transportation’s Traffic Safety Division, would like to remind everyone, motorcyclists have the same rights and privileges as any other driver.
The National “Share the Road”, and “Get Up to Speed on Motorcycles” campaigns, focus on promoting motorcyclist awareness and safety for both riders and drivers.
“Motorcyclists are at great risk on our roadways. It’s vitally important to educate New Mexico about motorcycle safety,” NMDOT Cabinet Secretary Michael Sandoval said.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), per miles traveled motorcyclists are about 27-percent more likely to die in a crash and five times more likely to be injured than drivers in passenger vehicles.
Even the smallest momentary lapse in a driver’s awareness can result in the death of an unseen motorcyclist because they can be difficult to see or spot on the roadway and motorists have a tough time judging their distance and speed. This happens most often when motorists are making left turns at intersections. It’s one of the most common causes of crashes. Also, keep in mind, “breaking” is not always obvious to motorists. Riders will often downshift instead of applying the brake, so the brake lights won’t be engaged.
NEW MEXICO FACTS AND FIGURES:
- In 2018 there were 47 motorcycle fatalities in New Mexico; 26 of those riders were not wearing a helmet.
- In 2017, there were 1,193 motorcycle crashes in the state; 53 were fatal.
- Two age groups see the most fatalities; mostly men 20-29 and 50-59.
- Younger motorcyclists tend to own sportier motorcycle models. The older age group of riders prefer touring models.
- Most crashes happen during the warmer months between noon and 3 p.m.
- Since 2013, Bernalillo has the highest number of motorcycle crash fatalities in the state.
SAFETY REMINDERS FOR MOTORISTS:
- SLOW DOWN and don’t rush when crossing intersections. Look for the unexpected.
- WAIT for the motorcyclist to clear the intersection before turning left.
- DON’T TAILGATE motorcyclists. Give the rider enough space to come to a complete stop.
- DOUBLE CHECK your BLIND SPOTS when changing lanes.
- ENCOURGE HELMET USE. Hundreds of lives could be saved annually if motorcyclists wear helmets.
SAFETY REMINDERS FOR MOTORCYCLISTS
- SIGNAL properly so motorists know your intentions. Be Safe and Enjoy the Ride!
- IF YOU LIVE TO RIDE, then ride to live
- LOWER your entry speed into curves. It’s the number one mishap.
- BE AWARE, don’t drive in a motorists blind spots.
- YOUR SAFETY depends on your visibility to drivers
- ENSURE your tires are properly inflated and in good condition
- ALWAYS wear proper protective safety gear
- FOLLOW speed limits
*The New Mexico Motorcycle Safety Program offers state-wide motorcycle trainings. To enroll visit: https://www.nm-msp.org/