El Paso County leads state in motorcycle fatalities



This one hits home — so forgive the tone if I sound lecture-y.

You see, back on June 22, I was involved in a motorcycle accident that was not my fault, in which the driver of the car I impacted with never saw me, even though I had the right-of-way, was wearing bright yellow reflective gear, and was traveling below the speed limit.

In the accident, I broke my leg, requiring two surgeries, and I've been doing extensive physical therapy ever since. I'm very grateful my accident wasn't worse, and consider myself fortunate, compared to many others who have either had worse injuries or perished in their crashes.

So for my part, I'm thrilled to see the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) launching two new campaigns over this upcoming Labor Day weekend to hopefully bring down the sad number of motorcycle deaths in El Paso County, which leads the state.

One campaign, called Don't Ruin the Ride, focuses on keeping bikers from drinking and driving. According to a CDOT press release, one in four riders killed from 2009 to 2011 was under the influence.

The second campaign, more relative to my accident, is called Look Twice. This campaign asks motorists to keep their focus on their driving and "to take a couple of extra seconds to look carefully for motorcycles."

The statistic provided there is that in Colorado last year, "drivers of motor vehicles were at fault in 20 percent of motorcycle fatalities. However, in El Paso County, motorists — not the rider — caused half of motorcycle-related deaths."

The release goes on to share the story of Colorado Springs police officer Matthew Tyner, one of six motorcyclists killed so far in El Paso County in 2012, who was killed by "an unassuming driver who did not see him." (There have been 49 motorcycle deaths statewide thus far.)

Lecture over. I think you get the point.

But if you need one more reinforcement of why you should keep extra vigilant of your biker brethren, click for more to see a picture of my big-ass scar (don't worry, not bloody).

To fix my tibia plateau fracture, it required five inches of metal bolted in with five screws:

I know some people think scars are tough and cool and all ... but Id trade this one back in a heartbeat.
  • Matthew Schniper
  • I know some people think scars are tough and cool and all ... but I'd trade this one back in a heartbeat.

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