SANDY, Utah (ABC4) – Last year 44 motorcycle riders were killed on Utah roadways and 258 others were seriously injured so the Department of Transportation is kicking off a new safety campaign called “Ride To Live”.
We show it on the news all too often: the aftermath of a motorcycle crash like a recent one in Big Cottonwood Canyon.
“Unfortunately, the injuries that he sustained were not surviveable and he passed away on scene,” Lt. Manfred Lassig of the Unified Police Department said that day.
Because motorcycle accidents are 11 times deadlier than car accidents. UDOT and the Department of Public Safety have produced a series of public service announcements featuring real riders.
“I don’t scare easy. I’ve been in some scrapes in my time, let me tell ya,” one biker says in the spot. “You know what terrifies me? A 16-year-old in a white Ford Fusion, turning left through my lane and not even seeing me.”
“Drivers on their phone drifting into my lane,” another rider says. “That’s terrifying.”
“A washing machine falling off the back of the truck in front of me,” a female motorcyclist says. “It nearly killed me.”
Joe Perez is also lucky to be alive, after a Buick suddenly turned in front of him as he was riding at 45 miles per hour.
“I ended up T-boning the back end of that Buick straight on,” Perez recalled Wednesday. “I actually went through the shield itself over the Buick. Once I got over the full-sized Buick I ended up hitting the freeway straight on and then sliding about 30, you know 25 to 30 feet onto the asphalt itself…The impact kind of knocked the air out of me by the time I rolled over it seemed the paramedics were already there taking me to the emergency room.”
Perez escaped with just some abrasions and bruises that day. He says he’s alive because of his padded leathers and his full-face helmet.
“If I wouldn’t have been wearing this or wearing it properly this would have been all ripped off,” he said, gesturing to his face. “Everything from the top all the way down to my boots was just raspberried off because of the asphalt itself.”
So far this year, five riders have been killed in Utah, including one Sunday morning near Liberty Park in Salt Lake City.
To see more about the Ride To Live campaign, go to: https://ridetolive.utah.gov/about/