One of the best ways to prevent motorcycle accidents is to follow the law. Here in Wyoming, there are five main laws you should be aware of and follow, which we will discuss in today’s blog.
If you’re in Gillette, Casper, Cheyenne, Laramie, or any of the surrounding areas and have been in a motorcycle accident, then you’ll need a motorcycle accident lawyer on your side. Don’t just settle for any accident attorney — find a motorcycle accident lawyer who has extensive experience handling cases like yours. Here at Metier Law Firm, we not only have experience with motorcycle accident cases and settlements — we are also avid motorcyclists. In fact, we like to say that we’re motorcyclists who happen to be lawyers — not the other way around.
Our blog is designed to be a resource for you as you navigate your situation following a personal injury. Check out our posts on ways to avoid motorcycle accidents or what to do immediately after a motorcycle accident. If you have questions for a motorcycle accident lawyer about your case, then reach out to Metier Law Firm today to schedule a risk-free consultation.
No minor (anyone under the age of 18) shall operate or ride on a motorcycle unless he or she is wearing protective headgear, of a type that is approved, securely fastened on his or her head.
If you ask any motorcycle accident lawyer out there —or even any accident attorney — we’re confident you’d hear the same thing: always wear a helmet.
According to Wyoming law, you’re only required to wear a helmet if you’re under the age of 18. However, we highly recommend wearing a helmet at all times when you’re on your motorcycle. Ideally, your helmet would also include a full visor to protect your face.
Here are a few facts about motorcyclists and helmets, per the Wyoming Department of Transportation:
Most motorcycle crashes happen on trips that are shorter than 5 miles and when the rider is traveling slower than 30 mph. When riding at this speed, a helmet can cut both the number and the severity of head injuries by half.
Regardless of speed, riders who wear helmets are three times more likely to survive head injuries than riders who aren’t wearing helmets during the crash.
All motorcycles are entitled to full use of a lane of traffic. The operator of a motorcycle shall not overtake and pass any vehicle in the same lane occupied by the other vehicle unless it is another motorcycle.
As motorcyclists ourselves, we understand the occasional need for speed — and the desire to pass vehicles when we’re ready to go. It’s always important to be safe, however.
This Wyoming law says that no motorcyclist may pass another vehicle in the same lane unless it’s a motorcycle. If you’re in a passing zone, you may cross over into the other lane of traffic to pass the vehicle — but you couldn’t pass it in its own lane.
Fact: According to the NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis, there were 2,182 two-vehicle fatal crashes involving a motorcycle and another vehicle in the U.S. in 2013. Of these, 42% (922 total) of the crashes occurred when the other vehicle was turning left and the motorcycles were going forward, passing, or overtaking other vehicles.
No person shall operate a motorcycle between lanes of traffic or between adjacent lines or rows of vehicles.
When traffic is building up and it looks like you have a clear shot through all the traffic simply by weaving your way through cars or passing alongside them, we understand the temptation.
However, this is against Wyoming law and could lead to serious injuries or worse. Any motorcycle accident lawyer will tell you not to do this — simply wait in traffic like everyone else.
Tip: While helmets are arguably the most important gear to be wearing while riding a motorcycle, you can also greatly increase your safety by wearing the following: a jacket and a pair of pants that keep your arms and legs completely covered and slip-resistant boots or shoes that cover your ankles and give them support.
Motorcycles shall not be operated three or more abreast in a single lane of traffic.
Your motorcycle most likely doesn’t fill an entire lane of traffic. When you’re on a long, cross-country trip with other motorcyclists or you’re simply riding around town with your partner or friend, you may choose to ride next to each other in the lane, which is fine.
However, according to Wyoming law, it is illegal for three or more motorcyclists to ride alongside each other in one lane of traffic. By doing so, you could put yourself, other motorcyclists, and other drivers on the road at serious risk.
Fact: In 2014, there were 16 motorcyclist fatalities in Wyoming; in 2015, there were 24 fatalities, which was a 50% increase. By following laws and staying aware, we can decrease the number of accidents, injuries, and fatalities.
No person shall operate any motorcycle with handlebars so positioned that his hands, when upon the grips, are above shoulder height when he is sitting astride the vehicle seat with the vehicle in an upright position.
This one is pretty self-explanatory — your hands should never be above shoulder height when your hands are on the grips and you’re sitting in an upright position. If your hands were to be above shoulder height, then you would limit your peripheral vision, making it harder to see when turning, and overall decrease your safety. So, at least as long as you’re in Wyoming, hold off on the monkey bar motorcycles and certain choppers.
Tip: Along with making sure you have a good grip that is at shoulder height or below, you should also wear gloves that will allow you to grip better and will protect your hands in the event of a crash. These gloves should be made of leather or another durable material.
Visit A Motorcycle Accident Lawyer In Wyoming Today
Even if you followed all the laws outlined in this blog, you still may have sustained an injury during a motorcycle accident. You’ll need an accident attorney to represent you. By working specifically with a motorcycle accident lawyer — like the ones at Metier Law Firm — you can ensure you’re getting the support and representation you need. Our motorcycle injury attorneys are fully trained, qualified, and experienced, and we’re not afraid to go to court when needed.
Here at Metier Law Firm, we can be your strength when you need it. Contact us today to schedule a risk-free consultation.