Unexpected dangers from road obstacles can pose a significant threat to riders, especially unpredictable wildlife. In Wyoming, a wave of motorcycle accidents involving wildlife has led to several injuries. The mayor of Pasco, a city in Washington, was injured in a motorcycle accident after colliding with a stray sheep. Pasco Mayor Matt Watkins broke his clavicle and was flown by helicopter to a Casper hospital.
Much like others involved in motorcycle accidents with wildlife, Watkins was turning a corner when he struck the wayward animal.
Watkins is not alone: another recent accident was especially terrifying. Imagine for a moment you are riding down the beautiful Beartooth Mountains in Wyoming, when out of nowhere, a giant bear charges at you. This scenario unfolded for a Florida couple who was riding down U.S. Highway 212, only two miles south of the Montana border. The bear charged out of a ditch and ran into the side of the motorcycle, then fled the scene.
According to the couple, the bear caused damage to the turn signal and chrome on the motorcycle. One of the riders may have suffered a cracked ankle.
How Can Riders Avoid Motorcycle Accidents Involving Wildlife?
Motorcycle accidents involving wildlife are difficult to plan for, as animals are unpredictable. However, there are ways you can reduce the chances of an accident.
- Pay close attention to wildlife crossing signs, especially during times of the day or night when animals such as deer are active. Seeing one animal can mean more are in the area.
- Powerful headlights can give riders warning of wildlife crossing the road ahead.
- Never approach dangerous wildlife, such as bears, large deer and mountain lions.
- If deer in the road will not move, try flashing your lights and revving the engine.
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