Motorcycle Safety is Everyone’s Concern

As the weather gets warmer, motorists can expect an increase in motorcycle traffic. With May being Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, the Kansas Department of Transportation and The Drive To Zero Coalition emphasize that cooperation from all road users will help reduce the number of fatalities and injuries on the state’s highways.

According to KDOT, preliminary 2023 Kansas crash data show there were 41 fatalities in 40 fatal crashes involving motorcycles. This represents a downward trend in motorcycle deaths in the state since 2020 when 65 people died in 62 fatal crashes, according to Gary Herman, KDOT Behavioral Safety Manager.

“But the goal is to avoid crashes altogether,” Herman said. “This requires both vehicle drivers and motorcyclists to pay close attention to the road and their surroundings while following traffic laws.”

The Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month campaign aims to increase awareness and promote safety measures for motorcyclists and motorists alike. KDOT and The DTZ Coalition emphasize the importance of being attentive and alert to the presence of motorcycles on city, urban and rural streets and highways.

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.

“Judgement for all drivers is compromised if driving impaired, and speeding increases chances of fatal crashes,” Herman said. “But when these crashes involve a motorcyclist, the consequences can be even worse. Motorcyclists don’t have seat belts, air bags or the inside of a vehicle to cushion the blow.”

For more information on motorcycle safety for motorcyclists and drivers, visit