Our condolences to Wynonna Judd and her husband “Cactus” aka Michael Moser (formerly of the band Highway 101 and now drummer for his wife) as news has just been released that while the couple were riding their motorcycles on the road in South Dakota last week, Cactus had an accident which was very serious and has caused him to lose a limb as doctors found no alternative but to amputate his left leg.
It’s obvious that the good news here is that this was not a fatality and that Cactus should recover from this horrific crash. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has more than enough statistics to show that accidents of this kind can all too often be fatal. Another good thing that can come from this tragedy is this: for all motorcycle riders to remember the dangers they are undertaking by choosing the freedom of this ride, and to be vigilant about their safety on the road.
It is true that there are higher risks for the driver when that driver is on a motorcycle than in a car, truck, or van. Bikers know this, and it’s something that they accept because of the fun of the ride and the thrill of being on a motorcycle – it’s a different experience and something that they’ve deemed worth that increase of risk.
Motorcyclists are free spirits, adventurers, and mavericks — and this independence, this strength of spirit, usually puts them in good stead for dealing with the consequences when things go wrong. The thing is, we wish that we could protect all bikers from that crash or accident and let them all ride safe and free along the roadways.
That’s not the real world, though. All too often, long term disability can result from a motorcycle crash. The Center for Disease Control reports that more than 50% of all nonfatal motorcycle injuries happen to the leg/foot (30%) or head/neck (22%). The number of nonfatal motorcycle injuries treated in emergency rooms is around 175,000 each year.
We don’t know if there was something on the road that caused Cactus to veer off his path. We don’t know if there was a problem with a tire or the engine or if something hit him as he was riding along. All we know is that this event is a lesson that bikers are more vulnerable on the road than the rest of us, and for those riding motorcycles, we want you all to be safe and stay safe.
- Always wear a DOT-approved helmet.
- Never ride your motorcycle after drinking. Alcohol greatly impairs your ability to safely operate a motorcycle. If you have been drinking, get a ride home or call a taxi.
- Don’t let friends ride impaired. Take their keys away.
- Wear protective clothing that provides some level of injury protection. Upper body clothing should also include bright colors or reflective materials, so that other motorists can more easily see you.
- Avoid tailgating.
- Maintain a safe speed and exercise caution when traveling over slippery surfaces or gravel.