Warm Weather Brings More Motorcycles on Kansas Roads: KDOT and DTZ Coalition Promote Respect and Understanding for Safety

By Trish Svoboda

As temperatures rise, drivers should anticipate more motorcycles on the road. In recognition of May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, both the Kansas Department of Transportation and The Drive To Zero Coalition stress the importance of respect and understanding among all road users to decrease the number of accidents and casualties on the state’s highways.

Initial crash data for Kansas in 2023 indicates that there were 41 deaths resulting from 40 fatal motorcycle accidents. This shows a decrease in motorcycle-related fatalities in the state, a trend that has been observed since 2020. In that year, there were 65 deaths from 62 fatal crashes, as reported by Gary Herman, the Behavioral Safety Manager at KDOT.

The campaign for Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month is designed to heighten awareness and advocate for safety precautions for both motorcyclists and drivers. Both KDOT and The DTZ Coalition highlight the significance of attentiveness and awareness of motorcycles on streets and highways, whether they are in cities, urban areas, or rural locations.

KDOT and the DTZ coalition offer the following tips for motorists:

Tips for drivers:

· Yield to motorcyclists especially while turning at intersections.

· Check all mirrors and blind spots for motorcycles before changing lanes or merging with traffic.

· Allow more follow distance when behind a motorcycle.

· Allow motorcycles the full width of a lane at all times.

Tips for motorcyclists:

· Wear personal protective gear and a DOT-compliant helmet. High visibility gear will help you be seen.

· Take a motorcycle safety course and keep your bike well-maintained.

· Don’t ride in the blind spots of motor vehicles.

· Drive and ride defensively.

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