LINCOLN, Neb. - Nebraska's Department of Transportation released the November and Year-To-Date fatality crash data today. Nineteen people died last month, and 215 have died this year. Del Scott said he could have easily been one of them, so now he has a message to holiday travelers.
Scott was on his motorcycle on Highway 77 near Roca in June when a semi-truck drove past him, blowing him off the road.
"I don't remember any of this," Scott said. "All I know is what my wife tells me and what the driver that saw everything and told the sheriff says."
Scott was life-flighted to a local hospital, where he spent months recovering. He returned to his home in Exeter just this month.
"We had just bought this house and were closing on it when the accident happened," Scott said. "My wife had to do a lot of that work, and she can't get around real well either. We both have walkers now."
But Scott says he is thankful for the walker, because at least he is alive.
"If I had been there in the ditch much longer, I would have died," Scott said. "All the doctors said they saw me and thought I would for sure die. But they saved me, and they saved my hand too."
Scott broke four bones in his hand, and was afraid they would have to amputate it. He also had a metal plate and screws put in his leg.
"I can't use my right leg now, and I can't use my left hand, but I guess it's a good thing I'm right-handed," Scott said.
He credits his sense of humor during this difficult time to his faith.
"I've got Jesus," Scott said. "He hasn't left me or forsaken me. He made sure I lived so I can still be here with my wife."
With one of the busiest travel days coming up the weekend before Christmas, Scott has a simple message for drivers.
"Be careful, and look twice for other drivers," Scott said.
The Nebraska Safety Council echoed his statement.
"There are so many different types of road users that we all need to make sure that we are thinking not just of ourselves and our families, but of other people who are using the road," said Executive Director Laurie Klosterboer.
Klosterboer said there are several things drivers can do to reduce the chances of dying in a car accident.
"Of course the easiest thing to do is put on your seatbelt," Klosterboer said. "Put on your seatbelt and put down the phone. Even with bluetooth you are cognitively distracted. There are going to be a lot of drivers out and you need to be focused."
2018 is on pace to be one of the deadliest years on Nebraska roadways in the last decade, and Klosterboer said several of those deaths could have been prevented.
"In November, 14 of the 15 people who were riding in cars and died were not wearing their seatbelt," Klosterboer said. "And we know that 20% of drivers don't here in Nebraska. But it's a law to wear it, and it is a safety device built directly into your car for that purpose."