There’s a common question among the motorcycle community in New Mexico: Is it illegal to ride with headphones? Despite popular belief, the answer is no. Riding a motorcycle with headphones is not against the law in our state. This blog post aims to clear up any confusion and delve into the benefits, legal considerations, and safety advice for riders choosing to use headphones.

Benefits of Riding with Headphones

Despite what some may assume, there are several benefits to wearing headphones while riding:

  • Noise Reduction: Headphones can significantly reduce wind noise and the pipes, protecting your hearing over long rides.
  • Bluetooth Connectivity: Modern technology allows riders to use Bluetooth-enabled devices for navigation and taking phone calls without stopping, enhancing convenience and, yes, safety.
  • Communication with Other Riders: Headphones facilitate communication between riders, especially useful during group rides or tours.

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

Ok it’s Legal to Wear Headphones While Riding in New Mexico. But Will They Find Me At Fault in a Crash if I Do?

First, let’s be honest: the police are almost always going to blame the motorcycle rider for the crash. There’s a lot of bias out there that motorcycle riding is dangerous. So if they see you were wearing headphones that only seems to confirm their suspicions that it’s your fault.

Next up, let’s talk about insurance companies. Their goal is to pay you as little as they possibly can. They’ll jump at any chance to pin the blame on you, the motorcycle rider, to keep their pockets deep. Wearing headphones while you ride? To them, that’s like a neon sign flashing “distracted rider” and a perfect excuse to tighten those purse strings.

But here’s the kicker: their word isn’t law. Just because they claim those headphones of yours were the problem, doesn’t mean they’ve got the case in the bag. They’ve got to prove that your headphones were the reason things went sideways. And let’s be real—that’s a tall order.

That’s where we, your trusty team of motorcycle lawyers, come into play. We’re not just any lawyers; we’re experts in twisting the arm of the law to make sure it works in your favor. We dive deep into the nitty-gritty of your case, picking apart accident reports, cross-examining witness statements, and if it comes down to it, bringing in the big guns with accident reconstruction experts. Our mission? To show that your headphones had nothing to do with the crash. We’re all about making sure you get every penny you deserve, without letting anybody bully you into thinking you were at fault.

Rocking headphones while you ride is totally your call, and it’s 100% legal. If the worst happens and you find yourself in a scrape, remember this: their assumptions can’t touch you if they don’t have the proof.

A rider wears earbuds while on his motorcycle in New Mexico

The Risk of Cagers Wearing Headphones

Now, let’s talk about something that doesn’t get nearly enough airtime: car drivers with their headphones on. This isn’t just about them missing their exit on the highway; it’s about them missing the fact that we’re sharing the road with them, increasing the chances of accidents.

A car driver with headphones might not hear you even when you’re right next to them. It’s like they’re in their own little bubble, and unfortunately, that bubble doesn’t include awareness of motorcycle pipes. This isn’t just an annoyance; it’s a serious safety hazard that can lead to real-world consequences for riders like us.

Our experts can prove scientifically when a car driver’s decision to wear headphones causes distraction, or makes them less aware of the sounds around them–like your bike. This evidence can amplify your settlement value when you get hit by a driver who is wearing headphones.

Sounds like a double standard?  Maybe it is. But we can prove in court that headphones do not increase risk when worn by motorcycle riders, and they do increase risk when car drivers wear them.


Riding with headphones in New Mexico is legal, and there are tangible benefits to doing so. However, it’s essential to remain aware of the responsibilities and safety considerations that come with this choice. As motorcycle lawyers, we’re here to support and advise you on your rights and how to protect yourself on the road.

If you have any questions or need assistance with a motorcycle-related legal issue, don’t hesitate to contact us. At Roadrunner Law, we’re committed to ensuring that riders receive the support and representation they deserve.