Airbag suit a lifesaver in head-on crash

A 35-year-old British rider who survived a horrifying head-on collision has credited his airbag-equipped full leather suit as a lifesaver.

This confronting video showing in-car footage, a rear angle and a following car’s video has been released overnight by Yorkshire Police to highlight the value of riders wearing the full gear — or as we call “ATGATT” (All The Gear, All The Time).

The 41-year-old Subaru driver, Florian Pratt, who was travelling at 70mph (112km/h), was banned from driving for three years and jailed for 16 months yesterday (10 January 2020) at Sheffield Crown Court.

Judge David Dixon said: “Anyone in control of a high-powered sports type car needs to be aware of the vehicle’s capability and their own capability.

“You failed to take any account of the bend that led to this incident. The message must go out loud and clear. If you drive any vehicle you must drive with care.”

Airbag lifesaverAirbag Lifesaver

While the Suzuki rider chose to remain anonymous, he has credited the protective gear he was wearing at the time, including a full-leather air bag suit which activated and inflated on impact, as a lifesaver. 

He suffered a broken back, broken sternum and broken wrist in the devastating smash last April near Sheffield.

Apart from the suit, the other lifesaver was the fact that the experienced rider braked so hard, he did a high front-wheel stoppie that would have flung him largely clear of the car.Airbag Lifesaver

Roads policing constable, PC Phil Carson, says that without the airbag suit, “he would most likely have died”.

We often see motorcycle riders wearing shorts and trainers, and they think it’s OK because they have a helmet on – it’s not,” he says.

“You might be travelling in a safe manner, but that doesn’t mean everyone else is.

“Please make sure that you’re wearing the right kit, it might be expensive but without it, your life could be at risk.”

A host of airbag leather race suits is now available, airbags are mandatory in most motorcycle racing and some companies such as Dainese, Alpinestars and Furygan, are now releasing aftermarket airbag vests that go over or under a normal jacket.

And Brooklyn start-up Airbag for Bike even has a patent pending for a motorcycle seat that ejects a rider in a crash and then cocoons them in a full-length airbag suit to protect them from injury.


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