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Will Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month prevent serious injuries?

Will the annual May arrival of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month prevent negligent drivers from causing traumatic injuries such as the loss of a limb to a biker? We can only hope so.

When a crash between any vehicle and a motorcycle occurs, the motorcyclist is likely the one who will sustain fatal and life-changing injuries, including the amputation of an arm or leg. Drivers must remain aware of every vehicle on the road, and this especially holds true for motorcycles.

Texas experiences jump in deaths and injuries

Well-known as a motorcycle state, Texas has seen an increase in fatalities and serious injuries among people involved in motorcycle-related crashes.

In 2021, a total of 519 people died in motorcycle crashes, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. And last year, 2,318 motorcyclists sustained serious injuries. The fatalities represented a nearly 8% increase from the 482 who died in 2020, while the number of those who were seriously injured jumped nearly 25% from the 1,856 hurt in the previous year.

Many challenges for amputees

Among those injured are motorcyclists and their passengers who may lose their limbs. They must overcome many challenges, including:

  • A series of surgeries, including reconstruction and skin grafts
  • Therapy, including physical, psychological and occupational
  • Adjusting to life with a prosthetic limb
  • Relearning everyday tasks such as using utensils, getting dressed and driving

Consider the story of late actor James Stacy, who sustained serious injuries in 1973 when his motorcycle was struck by a drunk driver. Stacy lost his left arm and leg, while his passenger died. However, with support from family and friends, he was able to forge on and continue with his acting career.

An important campaign

Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month remains an important campaign. It is crucial that drivers understand and accept the presence of motorcyclists and that they must share the road with them. An alert and aware driver means fewer chances for a crash leading to serious injuries to a motorcyclist and his or her passengers.