In 2005 Brittany Morrow was a freewheeling 20-year-old when she put on an ill-fitting helmet, threw on some jeans, a sweatshirt and sneakers, and jumped on the back of a friend’s motorbike.
Minutes later she was catapulted off the bike at 190kph, sending her tumbling 140 metres along the asphalt in the desert of New Mexico, United States.
“Basically I skinned myself alive and spent the next eight months recovering in hospital,” Morrow said.
“My goal that day was to look cute on the back of that motorcycle,” Morrow said.
Realising how close her vanity had brought her to death, and how much heartache she put her family through, inspired the Albuquerque native to become a passionate advocate for motorcycle safety, riding skills and wearing the right gear.
In New Zealand motorcyclists are only legally required to wear a helmet, and in summer riders and passengers often got lax about wearing the correct protective clothing, which can get steamy and uncomfortable in the heat.
“Even when it’s hot outside I know now as a motorcyclist I would much rather sweat than bleed.”
Although every rider is different there were three basic rules that went a long way to preventing accidents – mindset, rider training, and the right protective gear.
“With the mindset I like to imagine I’m taking the people I love with me on the back of my motorcycle.”
Morrow and a group of riders from the motorcycle industry and safety education arena – including representatives from ACC, the NZ Transport Agency and Greater Wellington Regional Council – took a trip around the Wairarapa on Friday to help promote Morrow’s message.
Check out the video HERE.