Be aware, Watch for Motorcycles.
Spring has arrived in Wyoming. You will see more
motorcycles on the roads.
They're not as tough as they may look.
Drivers of cars, trucks and buses are reminded to look out for
and share the road with motorcycle riders.
Motorcycle riders are
reminded to obey traffic laws, wear DOT-compliant helmets and other
protective gear, and make themselves visible by wearing bright
colors and using reflective tape.
Did you know?
A motorcycle has the same rights and
privileges as any other vehicle on the roadway.
Allow a motorcyclist a full lane width. Although it may seem that there is
enough room in the traffic lane for a motor vehicle and a
motorcycle, the motorcycle needs the room to maneuver safely. Do not
share the lane.
Because motorcycles are small, they can be
difficult for other road users to see them, or judge their speed and
distance as they approach.
Always signal your intentions
before changing lanes or merging with traffic. This allows
motorcyclists to anticipate traffic flow and find a safe lane
Because of its smaller size, a motorcyclist can be
hidden in a vehicle’s blind spot. Always check for motorcycles by
checking mirrors and blind spots before entering or leaving a lane
of traffic and at intersections.
Don’t be fooled by a
flashing turn signal on a motorcycle – motorcycle signals may not be
self-canceling and motorcyclists sometimes forget to turn them off.
Wait to be sure the rider is going to turn before you proceed.
Remember that road conditions that are minor annoyances to
motorists can pose major hazards to motorcyclists. Motorcycle riders
may change speed or adjust position within a lane suddenly in
reaction to road and traffic conditions such as potholes, gravel,
wet or slippery surfaces, pavement seams, railroad crossings, and
Allow more following distance -- three or
four seconds – when following a motorcycle so the motorcycle rider
has enough time to maneuver or stop in an emergency. In dry
conditions, motorcycles can stop more quickly than cars.
Use of DOT-compliant motorcycle helmets increased
significantly to 66 percent in 2011, up from 54 percent in 2010,
based on the National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS). The
NOPUS is the only survey that provides nationwide probability-based
observed data on helmet use in the United States and is conducted
annually by the National Center for Statistics and Analysis of the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The 2011 survey also found the following:
The increases in helmet use in
2011 occurred in many motorcyclist groups, including motorcycle
riders, in States without universal helmet laws, on surface streets,
in rural areas, and during weekends.
Helmet use in the Northeast increased significantly to 66 percent in 2011 from 54 percent in
Motorcycles and Alcohol
Impaired driving is one of
America’s most-often-committed and deadliest crimes. Overall in
2011, nearly 10,000 people (9,878) were killed in highway crashes
involving a driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol
concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher.
The percentage of per
se intoxicated motorcycle riders in fatal crashes is greater than
the percentage of per se intoxicated drivers of passenger cars,
SUV’s or pick-up trucks. The percentages of drivers with BAC levels
.08 g/dL or higher in fatal crashes in 2011 were 29 percent for
motorcycle riders, 24 percent for passenger cars, and 21 percent for
light trucks. The percentage of drivers with BAC levels .08 g/dL or
higher in fatal crashes was the lowest for large trucks (1%).
Alcohol affects those skills essential to riding a
motorcycle—balance and coordination. So it plays a particularly big
role in motorcycle fatalities.
In 2011, 30 percent of all
fatally injured motorcycle riders had BAC levels of .08 or higher.
An additional 7 percent had alcohol levels of BAC .01 to .07.
Forty-two percent of the 1,1,997 motorcycle riders who died in
single-vehicle crashes in 2011 had BAC levels of .08 or higher.
Motorcycle riders killed in traffic crashes at night were 3.4
times more likely to have BAC levels of .08 g/dL or higher than
those killed during the day (47% and 14%, respectively).
2011, motorcycle riders ages 40-44 who were killed in fatal crashes
had the highest rates of alcohol involvement.
Far too many
people still don’t understand that alcohol, drugs and motorcycle
riding don’t mix. Impaired riding is no accident—nor is it a
Many motorcyclists believe they only hurt
themselves if they are in a crash, but the pain, suffering, and
financial costs often extend to family members, friends, employers,
insurance companies, and others.
Riding a motorcycle while
impaired is not worth the risk of losing your life, killing an
innocent person, ruining your bike or going to jail.
consequences of impaired riding are serious and real. The trauma and
financial costs of a crash or an arrest for riding while impaired
can be significant and can ruin your life.
face jail time, the loss of their driver’s license, higher insurance
rates, and dozens of other unanticipated expenses from attorney
fees, other fines and court costs, towing and repairs, lost time at
work, and numerous other consequences.
Motorcyclist fatalities increased in 2011 to 4,612, accounting
for 14 percent of total fatalities for the year. This increase in
motorcycle fatalities for the year picks up the overall increasing
trend over the last 14 years that saw a one-year decline in 2009
when 4,469 motorcyclists were killed.