Dr. Joseph Sucher, lead trauma surgeon, Arizona Trauma Association, speaks to the trauma doctors see on a daily basis
April 29, 2019, Peoria, Arizona – When you are a top Arizona trauma surgeon, you see a lot of things you wish you hadn’t…like severe brain trauma, exposed broken bones and internal organ injuries that are life-threatening – many a direct result from distracted driving.
“A crucial issue facing people on the roadways today is that of is distracted driving,” says Dr. Joseph Sucher, head trauma at HonorHealth Deer Valley hospital and president of the Arizona Trauma Association. The American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma specifically uses the term “motor vehicle crashes. “These incidents are not accidents as many are caused when vehicle operators have their focus distracted from road conditions and traffic. The point is, many of the crashes we see in Arizona are preventable.”
Part of the ongoing issue in Arizona is a lack of training, adherence to safety and awareness and the distraction of many technical devices that take attention away from the task at hand – riding and/or driving. According to Sucher, for people involved in these horrible accidents, of which there are too many, their lives, and those of their family members and others involved, are altered immensely by weeks in the hospital months of rehabilitation, multiple surgeries and worse.
“You can’t imagine what we see daily in a trauma bay,” adds Sucher. “It starts with the first responders working to stop an individual from dying on the road…then it’s a race to get the person to a trauma center. It takes an immense amount of resources and people working together to save a life. Ultimately, a traumatic event changes everything. We all start our young lives feeling invincible. But in reality, life is fragile. The first step is to truly understand this and make an effort to reduce your risk by ensuring you are always aware of your surroundings.”
Sucher has a strong message for riders and drivers:
“Despite our inherent desire as Americans to be free in every way, the reality is that seatbelts, helmets and protective gear save lives. I guarantee that anyone who has been through a major traumatic event of the road and didn’t have protective gear, wish they had.”
About Dr. Sucher and Arizona Trauma Association
Dr. Sucher, who grew up in St. Louis, Mo., attended The University of Missouri – Columbia (Mizzou). He served as a trauma surgeon with the Army Reserves and was multiple times to Afghanistan and Iraq with forward surgical teams. Currently, Dr. Sucher is Director of Trauma Services at HonorHealth Deer Valley Hospital, Chairman of Surgery at HonorHealth John C. Lincoln Hospital, and President of the Arizona Trauma Association (ATA). Additionally, he serves as a board member for the Executive Advisory Board of the Arizona Coalition for Healthcare Emergency Response (AzCHER) and as a board member for the Arizona Emergency Medical Systems (AEMS) Committee.
Arizona Trauma Association is a sponsor and partner of the Arizona Motorcycle Safety & Awareness Foundation (AMSAF), a leader in the safety and awareness efforts to focus drivers and riders on the need for training and undistracted driving in Arizona.
AMSAF: Arizona’s motorcycle safety voice
Since its inception, AMSAF has given out more than 2500 discounted scholarships in Arizona to help educate riders on how to protect themselves on Arizona’s roadways. In addition to learning critical defensive skills, the course, offered throughout the state, also earns the individual the (M) motorcycle endorsement on an Arizona state driver’s license. And, many major insurance companies offer discounted insurance for riders that complete a safety/training course.
Founded in 2011, AMSAF is a non-profit foundation that is focused on reducing motorcycle and distracted driver crashes in Arizona. AMSAF’s goal is to promote motorcycle safety and awareness through education and training. AMSAF rider training scholarships enhance motorcycle safety by helping to reduce motorcycle and related crashes in Arizona.