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Airbag Vest Saves Can Am Rider In T-Bone Accident

The huge amounts of money poured into the development of self-inflating vests that deploy in the case of an accident are not in vain. An elderly rider got miraculously saved in an accident by one of them airbag-fitted protective garments.
Rider saved by airbag vest 1 photo
According to a report, Jim Rasmussen, 74, got involved in a crash this summer while riding his Can-Am roadster and lived to tell the story. He was riding to Glenwood, Minnesota, and right before an intersection, a car pulled out in front of the trike, sending him flying 12 to 15 feet into the air.

The first responders soon arrived at the scene and were staggered to see the man lying on the ground but looking totally fine and being conscious. After what they’ve been through, such accidents usually end up nasty, so you can imagine the confusion.

Then they saw a tethered cord and asked Jim what it was. Rasmussen responded it was his vest, an airbag vest, actually. With the situation understood, the paramedics canceled the LifeLink helicopter that had been dispatched, and took Jim to a hospital with an ambulance.

Jim and his wife have been riding together for 40 years, clocking around 400,000 miles (643,700 km), but never went without protective gear. “We have always had gear on,” said Jim. “It’s hideously expensive, but definitely worth it.”

The Helite vest he was wearing saved his life and even spared him of other traumas. He was ready to go home after one night at the hospital. The vest uses a rigid neck brace and firm support to the back and chest.

It gets tethered to the handlebars of the motorcycle and in case you fly off, a spring-loaded piston pierces the CO2 cartridge on the front, instantly inflating the airbag around the neck and body.

Mr. Jim traded his BMW motorcycle last fall for the Can-Am Spyder to offer him more stability as his riding skills started to wear off with age. Still, he didn’t give up on the amount of riding gear he wore.


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