Most Dangerous Road in Wyoming - Wyoming Magazine


Most Dangerous Road in Wyoming


Most Dangerous Road in Wyoming

One of the United States Most Dangerous Highways is Located in Wyoming

Most individuals would think that with Wyoming’s low population that it would be a safe state to drive in, but they are wrong because it has one of the most dangerous roads in the United States. Federal and state governmental agencies have collected data on accidents throughout the United States, and Wyoming has consistently been listed toward the top of the list for road accidents for several years. The roads located in rural areas of the United States such as the majority of Wyoming, are known for having numerous vehicular accidents despite the fact that 80 percent of the population lives in metropolitan areas.

Wyoming’s U.S. Highway 287 is Especially Dangerous for Teenage Drivers

Driving in Wyoming is particularly dangerous for its teen drivers who are still learning about road safety. Research reveals that over 35 teenage drivers out of 100,000 are killed in vehicular accidents across the state of Wyoming each year. This percentage is much higher than other states and causes concern for parents along with the state of Wyoming’s government officials. The most popular road used by local residents and tourists in Wyoming is U.S. Highway 287. This road is only two-lanes wide at most points but has constant vehicular traffic that includes huge semitrucks and small automobiles trying to travel as quickly as possible across the state.

U.S. Highway in Wyoming is one of the Longest Roads in the Nation

U.S. Highway 287 in Wyoming is approximately 1,800 miles long and connects several states located from the north to the south of the United States. In Wyoming, it passes through some difficult terrain, including the Medicine Bow Mountains and Laramie Mountains. For new drivers such as teenagers or tourists who are unfamiliar with driving in mountainous areas with poor visibility, this highway is especially dangerous. Despite being in a rural location, this highway is extremely popular for travelers because it leads to Yellowstone National Park that is one of most visited locations in this geographic zone.

Severe Winter Weather Frequently Leads to Additional Accidents in Wyoming

Winter weather in Wyoming is especially difficult with massive amounts of snow or ice that are combined with cold temperatures. Anyone driving along U.S. Highway 287 must cope with a narrow and treacherous road that is often not cleared with snowplows. There are often deep snowdrifts along the sides of this road during the winter, making it difficult for drivers to navigate wider vehicles past each other along the narrow two-lane road. Truck drivers transporting goods in semi-trucks on this highway are on strict schedules and avoid driving slower despite poor road conditions. The result of driving at a normal speed on this road is a vehicular slide-off and collision that frequently leads to a fatality.

Most of Wyoming’s U.S. Highway 287 is Located in Rural Areas

The majority of this particular highway is located along rural farmland or ranches, and if an accident does occur, then it is difficult for rescue workers to reach the scene quickly to assist victims. Unfortunately, multiple vehicle or chain reaction accidents are also a common occurrence because of poor visibility along this highway. In some cases, drivers will also exceed the speed limit to arrive faster at a destination because they know this highway does not have constant surveillance from law officials.

Rest Stops on U.S. Highway 287 Do Not Provide Numerous Amenities

When traveling along this busy highway, law officials suggest stopping at a rest stop occasionally, but these locations offer few amenities. In most cases, there are only basic toilet facilities and no drinking water available. Drivers cannot purchase food or soft drinks, and it is not possible to stay overnight. There are only a few small towns along this highway to stop at to purchase meals and this leads to people driving straight though the state without stopping to rest. The lack of rest while traveling on this road leads to sleepy drivers who are not alert enough to avoid an accident. However, many individuals in Wyoming are aware of the problems along U.S. Highway 287 and are trying to make important changes to increase this roads safety.

State Officials Want U.S. Highway 287 to Become a Four-Lane Road

An important change that is taking place to U.S. Highway 287 in Wyoming is road widening to make it a four-lane highway along some of its most highly traveled areas. Of course, this roadwork can take a long time and can also lead to potential dangers from construction vehicles and workers. The goal of the state of Wyoming is to have the entire highway changed to a four-land road rather than a two-lane road by the end of 2020.

Law Officials in Wyoming are trying to Assist Drivers to Reduce Vehicle Accidents

The state of Wyoming is also trying to have more law officials traveling along U.S. Highway 287 to help drivers in distress. A good example of this assistance is when a state trooper can change a blown-out tire for a driver to get them back on the road instead of having their vehicle blocking a lane. In addition, the state is adding road signs that inform drivers how to listen to local weather reports and roadwork warnings in order to decrease their driving speed and take extra precautions. With a combination of several changes, the state of Wyoming hopes to have its U.S. Highway 287 removed from the nation’s most dangerous road list.

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  1. Stephanie L.

    February 1, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    Well don’t stop in Shoshone on Hwy 287 – in fact, don’t drive through it. It is Wyoming’s worst speed trap, and even if you aren’t within the city limits and are not speeding, if the local cop feels like it he’ll write you a ticket just to make his salary!

    • Tina W.

      February 2, 2016 at 5:35 am

      No I disagree there is a speedy limit and he expects you to follow it. I drive thru there quiet frequently and never have problems. I follow the speed limit.

      • Stephanie L.

        February 2, 2016 at 11:15 am

        I follow the speed limit too, but it does not seem to matter since he knows you are not going to bother driving back to contest it and I suppose he has to make his living…whether it is within the speed limit or above it. Google it, it is a well known fact that Shoshone is a speed trap! It is recommended that you take other routes!

    • Michael Dale Smith

      February 3, 2016 at 8:44 am

      There are ZERO, ZIP, NADA speed traps in Shoshoni every road leading into town is clearly marked warning that the speed limit will reduce in 750 feet. Shoshoni has a ZERO TOLERANCE towards speeders, people who think because it is a small town they can zip on through at speeds well over the posted speed limit. Since you are posting here you must obviously be one of those who made a conscious choice to not obey the posted speed limit. Your comment that they will write you a ticket even if your not speeding is a pure fabrication on your part or as we say here about pure unadulterated BULLSHIT.

  2. Stephanie L.

    February 2, 2016 at 11:39 am

    Tina, Here is another police officer who also considers Shoshoni to be a speed trap – so you can see, it’s not just my opinion – its all over the web – “stay out of Shoshoni.”

    P.S., my so called Shoshoni “officer” (who stopped me for three miles over) made a point of bragging how he took an FBI agent to jail…like it was something to be proud of…now really, why would I – being a 60+ year old woman (retired law enforcement) with even older women in the car – care about that?

  3. Amber

    February 2, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    Grew up in riverton, traveled to lander a lot. Never heard of a local officer speed trapping people. I do think the way the speed decrease set up is abrupt, it never prevented me from going the speed limit. I’ve never been pulled over there either.

    • Red Hazard

      November 15, 2017 at 6:17 am

      You had Wyoming license plates. The Shoshoni radar trap specializes in out of state plates. That is why they have a special form for out of state drivers on how to pay the $hoshoni operating fund fine. BTW, though I never got a ticket (I went at least 5 MPH under the speed limit), I now use Hwy 287 and spend my restaurant and gas money in Riverton.

  4. Lona

    February 2, 2016 at 6:31 pm

    287 is only 150 miles, give or take, and goes from Rawlins up to just before Bull Lake….where do you get 1500 miles?

    • Ren

      February 4, 2016 at 1:27 pm

      If I am not mistaken, 287 starts at the south eastern part of the state coming out of Colorado just south of Laramie. It continues all the way northwest toward Yellowstone.

    • James

      February 4, 2016 at 2:01 pm

      I know it goes to at least Fort Worth Texas

    • Rachel

      February 4, 2016 at 3:04 pm

      Actually they were referring to the fact that is is 1800 miles long in total. And in Wyoming it actually does not start in Rawlins it starts at the Colorado State Line and goes up to Laramie and then continues on from there.

      • Rita

        February 6, 2016 at 7:28 pm

        Absolutely True, I live on it and I agree it goes from Colorado state line through Laramie on through Bosler, Rock River, Medicine Bow and Hanna and to Rawlins and then on from there.

  5. Don

    February 4, 2016 at 9:50 am

    1,800 miles long in Wyoming? Wrong-o. Maybe the entire length is 1,800 miles, but not in Wyoming. Poorly written.

  6. Lois

    February 4, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    Wyoming towns are not “speed traps.” The speed limit drops in all Wyoming towns, and all locals know that towns are serious about reducing speeds. Just know that when you’re driving anywhere in Wyoming, when you hit a town it’s important to observe the speed limit. Where’s the “trap” in that?

  7. DP

    February 5, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    The WYDOT does not do a very good job of removing snow and ice from their highway system. In some cases they do not plow their highways thru cities or towns. Many drivers in Wyoming drive far too fast for the road conditions. The state appears to not take any responsibility for winter maintenance of roads. Montana and South Dakota both do much maintenance check it out. It’ all about money!

  8. Kimberl y

    February 6, 2016 at 6:12 am

    1. We aren’t like numerous startes on the Union, we don’t close the entire community down because we get shine snow.
    2. If we did close roads for having snow, then the unemployment rate would be astronomical! Because businesses would not be open due to snow.
    3. We have high winds often. When some other state’s are complaining about 30 mile an hour winds, I laugh and giggle. That is just a breeze here in Wyoming. I’ve been in Las Vegas when the wind blows. That is a crazy, wild experience!
    4. Plus there are a few communities that are considered rural Wyoming that have milder climates than others.
    5. Quit picking on Wyoming! We provide many resources for the entire main. . . oh wait . . . the President killed oil and coal industries, etc.
    6. Wait until your state is next. Michigan experienced it with the car industry!

  9. Bob C

    April 12, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    Anyone that states Shoshoni is not a speed trap is lying to themselves. It is definately a speed trap and the gray haired policeman will definately tell you are speeding after you cross the railroad tracks even tho the sign says seventy you have to wait until you physically reach the sign to increase your speed from fourty. Now tell me him waiting for you to physically reach the seventy mile per hour sign is not a speed trap. I travel this road many times over the years from casper to Big Piney and I have seen the Shoshoni cop stop many many cars in the exact spot! You can read in many places on the internet and people confirm this!

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