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Mothers of men killed in motorcycle crashes turn their pain into advocacy

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. 

Candy Crigger and Tina McElhenny travel the state of Florida to bring awareness to this issue, as they are both personally tied to motorcycle safety. 

Crigger lost her 25-year-old son, Barry, right in front of her eyes on Mother's Day in 2007. He was hit and killed when a driver made an illegal U-turn. 

"Devastation. My world had ended as I knew it. Denial. This can't be possible. This couldn't happen. This can't be," Crigger said. 

McElhenny lost her son, Kris, due to a motorcycle accident in 2002. He was only 18 years old. 

"I never got to tell him goodbye," McElhenny said. 

Both mothers have now turned their pain into advocacy. 

"My goal is to educate, to save this heartache for someone else, another mother, another family," Crigger said. 

"We want the number of fatalities for motorcyclists to decrease, that's why we put this message out every year," McElhenny added. 

Their slogan for their campaign is, "Be nice. Look twice. Save a life." They have billboards posted around Florida with pictures of their sons and the message displayed. Both mothers hope the message helps to decrease the number of fatal motorcycle accidents. 

"No one ever dreams of losing a child. No one ever thinks it's going to happen to their family. But it does," McElhenny said. 

AAA offers these suggestions for how drivers and bikers can lower the number of fatal motorcycle accidents:

  • Motorcyclists can stay safe on bikes by checking their rear view mirrors often, signaling before turning and wearing proper clothing, including eyewear and closed-toe shoes. 
  • When sharing the roads with motorcyclists, drivers should never try to share a lane with a motorcycle, allow extra space, check mirrors before changing lanes if a motorcycle is nearby as motorcycles can be difficult to see due to their size and often times end up in blind spots. 

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