There’s a common question among New Mexico’s motorcycle community: Is it illegal to ride with headphones? Contrary to popular belief, the answer is no. Riding a motorcycle with headphones is perfectly legal in our state. This blog post aims to clear up any confusion and explore the benefits, legal considerations, and safety tips for riders choosing to use headphones.

Benefits of Riding with Headphones

Despite some assumptions, there are several advantages to wearing headphones while riding:

  • Noise Reduction: Headphones can significantly cut down on wind noise and the sound of your exhaust, protecting your hearing over long rides.
  • Bluetooth Connectivity: Modern headphones allow for Bluetooth connectivity, enabling riders to use navigation and take phone calls without having to stop, enhancing both convenience and safety.
  • Communication with Other Riders: Headphones make it easier to communicate with fellow riders, which is especially useful during group rides or tours.

It's legal to wear headphones while riding a motorcycle in New Mexico

Is it Legal to Wear Headphones While Riding in New Mexico? What About Fault in a Crash?

Let’s be upfront: law enforcement often places the blame on motorcycle riders in accidents, due to the perception that motorcycling is inherently risky. If you’re found wearing headphones, it might reinforce their biases.

Now, consider insurance companies. Their objective is to minimize payouts. They’ll seize any opportunity to fault the motorcycle rider, and wearing headphones can be seen as a sign of distraction, giving them a reason to reduce your claim.

But here’s the catch: their opinion isn’t the final word. Just because they point fingers at your headphones doesn’t mean they have a solid case. They need to prove that your headphones were the cause of the accident. And that’s not an easy task.

This is where we, your dedicated team of motorcycle accident lawyers, step in. We’re not just any lawyers; we’re experts in turning the law to your advantage. We meticulously examine every detail of your case, dissecting accident reports, scrutinizing witness statements, and, if necessary, bringing in top-notch accident reconstruction experts. Our goal? To demonstrate that your headphones had nothing to do with the crash. We’re committed to ensuring you receive the full compensation you deserve, without being unfairly blamed.

Choosing to wear headphones while riding is entirely your decision, and it’s 100% legal. If you find yourself in an accident, remember this: their assumptions mean nothing without proof.

A rider wears earbuds while on his motorcycle in New Mexico

The Danger of Car Drivers Wearing Headphones

Now, let’s address an often-overlooked issue: car drivers using headphones. This isn’t just about missing their highway exits; it’s about missing the fact that motorcycles are sharing the road with them, which increases the risk of accidents.

A driver with headphones might not hear you, even if you’re right next to them. They create a bubble of isolation, ignoring the sounds of the road, including your motorcycle. This is more than just an inconvenience—it’s a serious safety risk that can have severe consequences for riders.

Our experts can scientifically prove when a driver’s use of headphones leads to distraction or decreased awareness of surrounding sounds, such as your bike. This evidence can significantly boost your settlement value if you’re hit by a driver wearing headphones.

Does this sound like a double standard? Perhaps. But we can prove in court that headphones do not increase the risk for motorcycle riders, whereas they do for car drivers.


Riding with headphones in New Mexico is legal, and it offers several practical benefits. However, it’s crucial to stay aware of your responsibilities and safety while making this choice. As motorcycle accident lawyers, we’re here to support and guide you on your rights and how to protect yourself on the road.

If you have any questions or need help with a motorcycle-related legal issue, don’t hesitate to contact us. At New Mexico Biker Lawyer, we’re dedicated to ensuring that riders receive the support and representation they deserve.