Babes Ride Out

First Responder | Advice from Dr. Jenny Kim of what to do when you see a rider down

SafetyAnya Violet

Accidents happen. We all do our best to avoid them and hope that we never are witness to one! Dr. Jenny Kim, our on site medic from BRO3, shares her first hand account of witnessing an accident and shares some key things of what to do and what not to do on the scene of an accident. 

 Photo by Lanakila Mcnaughton of Womens Moto Exhibit

Photo by Lanakila Mcnaughton of Womens Moto Exhibit

Babes Ride Out 3 was over.  The camp was deserted and the creaking of the wood shack that had been the first aid station seemed loud.  I loaded the last of the unused bandages, gauze, and ointments into my truck. 

I pulled out of the ghost town with my bike in tow and drove onto Sunfair Road.  What an incredible weekend it was.  I was joined by a group of talented women nurses, paramedics, and a firefighter that all shared a love of motorcycle riding to offer basic first aid to fellow riders.  We took shifts and took call at night treating road rash, pipe burns, corneal abrasions, and offered advice on general medical problems.  It was tremendously rewarding and gratifying.

Then suddenly, I saw settling dust ahead on the empty road.  I slowed down the truck as I approached.  There were two riders standing on the side of the road and one sitting on the ground.  Up ahead on the other side of the road was a motorcycle down on its side.

I pulled over and rushed over to the riders.  As I got closer, I assessed the area.  It was empty of cars, there was no debris or fuel on the road.  All three riders were off to the side of the road.  The rider on the ground was sitting, helmet off, moving all her limbs and talking coherently. 

If you ride, you have been or know someone who has been in a motorcycle accident. Motorcycle crashes can cause serious physical and emotional injuries.  If you are witness to a motorcycle accident, there are actions that you can take to decrease injury to the rider down.  Anyone can be of help and make a difference.  Below is a limited basic starting point and does not take the place of a medical professional or advanced emergency training.

1)    Take a breath and stay calm.  The rider down may be scared and in panic.  They need you to be cool and rational.

2)    Assess the situation then call 911.  Every minute counts.  Listen carefully.  Answer their questions clearly and succinctly.

3)    Protect yourself and keep yourself out of danger.  Make the area safe to help.  If, there are other bystanders, instruct them to warn traffic.

4)    Move the rider only if they are in imminent danger, such as fire or on coming traffic.

5)    If the rider is conscious, talk to them.  Reassure them and be encouraging.  Hold their hand so they know that you are there for them. 

6)    The rider may be going into shock.  Cover them to keep them warm.

7)    Don’t remove their helmets.  They may have cervical spine or spinal cord injuries.  Removing their helmet may cause further damage.  Only remove the helmet if it is a life and death situation, such as not breathing.

8)    If there is bleeding, elevate the limb and use pressure with a clean cloth.

9)    Do not give them anything to eat or drink.  If they lose consciousness, they may aspirate or choke.  Also, the rider may need emergency surgery.  Surgery is safer on an empty stomach.

10)  If you are trained to do so, administer CPR or BLS to the rider without a pulse or is not breathing.

11) Stay with rider until paramedics or professional help arrive.


Here Janea's account of the accident ( the rider who went down)

The last day at Babes Ride Out 3, I will never forget. I called my husband to tell him we were packing up and heading home soon. He asked me to call him before we left.

I packed up, got on my bike and looked at my gloves stashed behind my fairing.  The cafe we decided on for lunch, before heading home, was just down the street from camp.  I put the gloves on.  It was warm this October in Joshua Tree, so my leather jacket stayed in my pack. 

I took the lead down Sunfair Road out of camp.  The warm wind embraced me.  It had been an amazing week.  First, the moto trip through Arizona with the girls.  Then to Babes Ride Out 3 where I met women from all walks of life following their passions.  Lastly, my volunteer work with the inspiring MotoFam.  It was all gratifying, rewarding, and immensely fun!

Then suddenly, my handlebars began slapping my tank. I don’t know what happened.  I couldn’t control the bars.  The bike began to buck.  There was nothing I could do.  I let my hands go and closed my eyes.

I don’t remember what happened.  I opened my eyes and I was in a dust cloud.   I was filled with adrenalin and felt nothing.  One of the girls was running to me yelling “Lay down! Lay down!”