Wyoming Car Accident Laws Staff Profile Picture
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The Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) recorded 13,885 collisions in the state in 2021, resulting in 111 fatalities and a 5.4% climb from 2020. Despite this increase, 2021 has had one of the lowest numbers of logged cases in the state from 2012 to the present.

Wyoming’s landscape is mostly rural, and its wild animals are free to roam in their natural habitat. Consequently, there were 4,345 counts of crashes involving horizontal curves and 2,690 accidents involving wildlife. However, the majority of vehicular mishaps in the state are attributed to risky driver behaviors, with speeding being the number one contributing factor in collisions, followed by distracted and impaired driving.

In line with this, Wyoming’s Highway Safety Behavioral Grants Program has implemented safety plans backed by federal funding that address behavioral issues causing traffic collisions. WYDOT is devoted to promoting safety on all of Wyoming’s roads through the “Four Es” — engineering, education, enforcement, and emergency medical services.

It should be noted that the responsibility of advocating for road safety does not just fall on federal and state agencies; road users, particularly motorists, have an obligation to follow traffic laws and maintain proper conduct on local roadways. And if they get involved in or cause accidents, they have the responsibility and obligation as well for the casualties. Victims and their families should know they have the right to be compensated for their injuries and losses. 

Wyoming Seat Belt Law

It is a state requirement to wear a seatbelt when a vehicle is in motion. This law is mandatory for anyone aged nine and above. The guidelines regarding proper restraint systems for children are as follows:




Type of seat

Infant-only or rear-facing convertible seat

Convertible or forward-facing seat with harness

Belt-positioning booster seat


Infants are not allowed in the front seat because of airbag deployment during emergencies.

Children below 12 years of age should only sit in the back

Lap belts should be low to avoid abdominal injuries

In 2021, WYDOT noted that in about 60% of car collision fatalities, the victims were not wearing seat belts at the time of the accident. In addition to being more at risk of incurring damages in the event of a car crash, not following the seat belt law in the state is also a secondary offense with consequences. You will receive a ticket for violating it if you have been pulled over for other reasons. However, not following child passenger safety laws is a primary offense punishable by up to $110 for those caught violating them more than once.

Meanwhile, general seat belt law violators must pay a corresponding fine — a maximum of $25 for the driver and anywhere from $10 to $100 for passengers. However, the Wyoming legislature is looking to raise the amount to $100 for drivers and impose a new penalty if children below 12 are found not properly strapped to their seats.

Some exemptions to the law include postal workers and people with medical conditions, though the latter will have to provide a physician’s certification as proof if asked.

Because wearing a seat belt can lower the risk of injuries and death when one is involved in a car accident, strategies have been put in place to encourage adherence to the law. These include programs that teach the proper use and installation of booster seats and assist parents and caregivers in acquiring them through low-cost rentals, giveaways, and loans. Another example is the Click It or Ticket campaign, which helped raise seat belt usage to 90% nationwide in 2021.

Wyoming Drunk Driving Law

Wyoming has consistently stayed at the top of the statistics regarding drunk driving deaths. In 2021, despite being the state with the smallest population, it had an average of 6.2 drunk driving fatalities per 100,000 people compared to other states.

Individuals in Wyoming found to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher while operating a vehicle may face a DUI conviction. Even those whose blood alcohol level is lower than the limit can still get a DUI if it is proven that they are mentally or physically unable to drive safely due to alcohol and/or drug impairment.

Listed below are the penalties for DUI:

First DUI conviction

Up to $750 in fines

License suspension for 90 days

Up to 6 months in jail

Ignition interlock device (IID) installation for up to 6 months (if BAC is higher than 0.15%)

Completion of a state-approved substance abuse program if ordered by the court

Second DUI conviction within 10 years

$200 to $750 in fines

License suspension up to 1 year

7 days to 6 months in jail

IID installation for 1 year (if BAC is higher than 0.15%)

Completion of a state-approved substance abuse program if ordered by the court

Third DUI conviction within 10 years

$750 to $3,000 in fines

License suspension up to 3 years

30 days to 3 years in jail

IID installation for 2 years (if BAC is higher than 0.15%)

Completion of a state-approved substance abuse program if ordered by the court

Fourth and subsequent DUI conviction within 10 years

Up to $10,000 in fines

Indefinite suspension of license (will depend on the circumstances of the case)

Up to 7 years in prison

IID installation for the rest of the violator’s life (if BAC is higher than 0.15%)

Completion of a state-approved substance abuse program if ordered by the court

Additionally, the court considers some aggravating factors in DUIs, such as whether or not the violator hurt somebody while drunk driving, there was somebody underage (or below 16 years of age) in the car with them, or their BAC level was exceedingly high.

Wyoming Speeding Law

The state of Wyoming observes two types of speeding limits:

  • Basic Speeding Limit - This prohibits drivers from going at a speed that is not reasonable and safe based on the existing road conditions. Motorists must always observe driving at a safe speed and then slowing down when needed.

For example, a person driving down a rural highway can go as fast as 55 mph (depending on the speed limit, of course). Still, that speed may not be appropriate when approaching intersections and crossings or if driving under horrible weather conditions.

  • Absolute Speed Limits - This law states that you should not go above the absolute speed limit on any given road, such as:

  • 20 mph in school zones

  • 30 mph in urban areas

  • 55 mph on unpaved roadways

  • 70 mph on paved roadways

  • 75 mph on interstate highways (and 80 mph on specified segments)

Motorists caught speeding will face a misdemeanor charge. Detailed below are the fines for the violation according to the severity of one’s offense:

Speeding Violation


1 to 5 mph over the limit

$5 for each mph over the limit

6 to 10 mph over the limit

$30 + $2 for each mph above 5 mph over the limit

11 to 20 mph over the limit

$45 + $5 for each mph above 10 mph over the limit

More than 20 mph over the limit

$95 + $5 for each mph above 20 mph over the limit

Wyoming Hit-and-Run Law

Hit-and-run is defined in Wyoming as a crime committed after an accident when the negligent driver fails to:

  • Provide identification

  • Stop at the scene of the accident

  • Offer aid to anyone who has been injured because of the accident.

Wyoming law states that if an accident occurs that injures people and damages either vehicle or property, one has a duty to stop, provide aid, and give his or her contact information.

Depending on the gravity of the circumstances and the extent of the incurred damage, prosecutors can charge the negligent party with either a felony or a misdemeanor.

  • A misdemeanor carries a fine of no more than $750 and county jail time for a maximum of 6 months.

  • A felony carries a fine of no more than $5,000 and jail time for a maximum of 1 year.

There may also be civil penalties involved on top of criminal charges in the form of fines payable to the Department of Motor Vehicles or an increase in premium payments for car insurance.

Wyoming Careless and Reckless Driving Law

The difference between careless and reckless driving lies in establishing intent or motive. The former, for example, is when a driver is not paying attention to the road, and he or she ends up causing an accident. Meanwhile, the latter involves a driver who willfully disobeys the law by engaging in a street race, for example, or maintaining a fast speed when the roads are slick and slippery.

Wyoming Careless Driving Law

Careless driving is a misdemeanor that refers to operating a vehicle without due diligence and care, increasing the risk of harm to people or property. Some examples of careless driving are beating the red light, tailgating, changing lanes or weaving in and out of traffic, and disobeying road signs.

Violating this law has consequences in the form of fines and jail time:

First offense

20 days in jail

Up to $200 in fines

Second offense

30 days in jail

Up to $300 in fines

Third offense

6 months in jail

Up to $500 in fines

Wyoming Reckless Driving Law

This is considered a felony and pertains to intentionally disregarding the safety of people or property while operating a vehicle.

Motorists who are caught in violation of this law will face the penalties below:

  • 6 months in jail

  • Up to $750 in fines

  • A “surcharge” of about $150 to $350 for the violation itself

A motorist caught recklessly driving for the third time in five years will also face license revocation.

Wyoming Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements

Motorists in Wyoming are required to carry car insurance for their and other road users’ protection. The state-mandated minimum liability coverage is referred to as 25/50/20, which translates to:

  • $25,000 in bodily injury coverage per person.

  • $50,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident.

  • $20,000 in property damage per accident.

It is good to be informed that while the minimum coverage is on par with most states’, sticking to the lower limit of the amount can mean running the risk of being underinsured. For instance, if you are proven to be the negligent party in an accident where a high-end car was severely wrecked, the $20,000 allotted for property damage will be exhausted quickly. Because of situations like this, some insurance experts recommend policyholders increase their premium payments as high as they can realistically afford. 

There are also optional add-ons that could save a policyholder a lot of trouble in the event of a car accident:

  • Medical payment coverage - Regardless of fault, this pays for the expenses that a driver and their passengers incurred in an accident. This can be used as a substitute by individuals without health insurance or as a supplement to one that they do have.

  • Collision coverage - This pays for the damages after figuring in a rollover accident or crashing with another car or object.

  • Comprehensive coverage - This covers the damages a car suffered due to threats like fire, vandalism, flood, theft, and storms.

If you are looking to purchase insurance for your car, you should be aware that different carriers offer different rates based on various factors. These include your age, marital status, and credit score, as well as the coverage amount of your choice.

Wyoming is a Fault State for Insurance Claims

The state follows a traditional fault-based system, which means negligent drivers have to use their insurance policy to cover the expenses — such as medical and car repair costs — that come as a result of the accident they have caused. However, if the policy limit is not enough to cover the damages, they will have to shoulder the remaining costs out of their own pockets.

Wyoming Follows the Modified Comparative Negligence Law

Under Section 1-1-109 of Wyoming’s legislation, injured parties can only file a claim for damages if they are proven to be less than 50% responsible for a car accident. Additionally, the amount of compensation they are entitled to will be reduced according to their degree of responsibility.

For instance, a negligent driver determined to be 60% responsible for a car accident will not be eligible to collect damages. Meanwhile, a motorist who is 20% at fault for a collision can file an injury claim. However, the amount they are entitled to receive will be diminished by 20%.

Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents in Wyoming

State law dictates that car accident victims have four years to file a personal injury claim from the incident date. However, Section 1-38-102 states that if a victim passes away, the statute of limitations becomes two years from the day of their death.

These statutes apply to all types of crashes and collisions as long as motorized vehicles are involved, but there are still some exceptions to the rule:

  • A claimant who is a minor at the time of the accident can file an injury claim on their own once they turn 18 until they are 21 years old.

  • If the injured victim is mentally incompetent, they will be given three years to file a claim after they have been deemed mentally competent.

Average Settlement for Wyoming Car Accident Lawsuits

It can be difficult to determine the worth of a car accident lawsuit as many factors must be considered before arriving at a specific value. Some of these include:

Type of damages


Economic damages

Current and projected future medical bills

Lost wages from the time the victim was unable to work because of the injuries

The extent of the vehicular damage and the items inside that got destroyed

Non-economic damages

Mental and emotional anguish

Loss of consortium or fellowship between two married people

Any resulting psychological damage such as anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder

Punitive damages

Added in rare instances when the at-fault party displayed egregious behavior or acted with wilful intent to inflict pain and suffering

It should be noted that in the state of Wyoming, there are no caps or limits to the amount that an injured victim can recover.

Legal Resources for Wyoming Car Accident Victims

Legal Aid of Wyoming

The Legal Aid of Wyoming, Inc., is a nonprofit law firm that offers help to low-income individuals who need representation in different types of civil cases. It has branches in Cody, Gillette, Cheyenne, Casper, and Lander. For inquiries, you may contact the organization at 1-877-432-9955.

The Wyoming State Bar

The Wyoming State Bar partners with Equal Justice Wyoming in providing pro bono services to low-income individuals who need legal aid in their civil cases. It can be reached by phone at 307-632-9061.

Wyoming Department of Transportation Crash Report

This page has detailed instructions on reporting an accident to law enforcement. The drivers involved in a vehicular crash or collision must call 911, the Wyoming Highway Patrol, the nearest police department, or the county sheriff following the accident.

Wyoming Accident and Insurance Forms

Listed here are various forms — including the Accident Affidavit and the SR21 Insurance Certificate — that one may need after a car accident.

Wyoming Driving Records

This site lists the steps individuals should take to obtain a copy of their or someone else’s driving record. A driving record contains three to five years worth of a person’s traffic violations, uninsured accidents, and related data.

Wyoming Motor Vehicle Insurance Requirements

This comprehensive guide details the insurance requirements mandated by the state of Wyoming for all motorists. These include the expiration and effective dates of one’s coverage, the cancellation of a policy, and related forms and procedures.

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