A Dallas man recently received national attention for his caught-on-video motorcycle crash. The 25-year-old was traveling on a three-lane highway when he passed a car and traffic slowed down. The car behind the motorcyclist rear-ended him.
The motorcycle rider was thrown from the motorcycle and caught between two cars. He then fell to the road, suffering serious injuries including a ruptured spleen, internal bleeding, a hernia, a broken rib, several broken ribs and road rash.
He cited wearing a helmet as an important factor in his survival. While he took steps to protect himself by wearing safety gear, he could not stop what may have been an inattentive driver from rear-ending him.
May’s designation as Motorcycle Awareness Month provides drivers of cars, SUVs and trucks with an important reminder: take notice of motorcyclists.
The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) urges drivers to avoid following motorcycles too closely and to be cautious around motorcycles. The AMA also advises motorcycle riders to wear protective gear, including helmets that meet U.S. Department of Transportation standards, gloves and appropriate footwear.
The Governors Highway Safety Association reports that motorcycle fatalities have dropped – by 16 percent in 2009 and 2 percent in 2010 – but distracted and inattentive drivers remain a significant danger.
Cell phones, the radio, kids, snacks and a range of other distractions can pull a driver’s attention from the road. This not only puts the driver at risk, but everyone else within range. This danger, combined with some drivers’ tendency not to see motorcycles, creates a risky situation for riders.
The injuries from Texas motorcycle crashes are often severe, sometimes even fatal. All drivers and riders should be encouraged to protect themselves and others on the road – every month of the year.