Near noon on a mid-September day, motorcyclist Brandon Wright was cruising down U.S. Highway 89 near Utah State University in Logan when a BMW pulled in front of him from a roadside parking lot. He attempted to lay down his bike to avoid a crash, but the car was too close. An instant later, Wright hit the car's hood and fell to the ground, then slid under the car where he lay trapped as the entangled vehicles burst into flames.
Bystanders rushed to his aid, lifted the car off the ground and pulled him to safety in a heroic rescue captured on video that was soon broadcast from coast to coast. Knocked unconscious by the motor vehicle accident, the 21-year-old student was rushed to the hospital with a broken right leg and burns on his left leg, but no life-threatening injuries. Doctors estimated that Wright would face at least two-months in recovery.
According to HJNews.com, the driver of the BMW appeared to be alert and was seen talking with emergency personnel at the scene of the accident. The accident is still under investigation, leaving questions about the driver's liability under consideration.
What is clear is Wright's amazing survival, considering that he was riding without a helmet. A helmet manufactured to meet DOT standards is generally considered the single most important piece of protective gear a biker can wear. While not foolproof, a helmet's effectiveness in a crash has been documented in hundreds of studies, including "The Hurt Report," a federally funded analysis of 900 motorcycle crashes conducted by University of Southern California (USC) researcher Harry Hurt.
Information on motorcycle safety by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) and other organizations consistently urge bikers to be cautious, drive defensively and wear protective gear to increase their chances of survival in the event of a crash because the lack of protection, instability and dramatic size and weight disparity between motorcycles and other vehicles puts motorcyclists at great risk in a collision. Due to these factors, roughly 80 percent of reported motorcycle crashes lead to injury or death, a figure estimated at 20 percent for car crashes.
In Brandon Wright's case, however, luck was on his side. Even so, he told HJNews.com that from now on, he plans to wear his helmet.