Watch a Motorcycle Racer’s Helmet Fly Off in Terrifying Accident

This is a good reminder to make sure your safety gear fits properly.

byEric Brandt| UPDATED Sep 6, 2017 4:13 PM
Watch a Motorcycle Racer’s Helmet Fly Off in Terrifying Accident

If this motorcycle accident went just a little bit differently, we wouldn’t show it to you. Racer Luiz Franchi rear-ended Jeremy Whitehurst after crossing the finish line in a Superstock race at the New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, NJ. After losing control of his Yamaha R1, Ranchi tumbled over the handlebars and fell on the track. His AGV helmet popped off almost immediately, and he slid across the track on his back. As luck would have it, his suddenly unprotected head never hit anything, and was properly protected in a full race suit, along with the right boots and gloves.

Based on the footage, it looks like it’s Franchi’s fault for hitting Whitehurst, but Whitehurst takes full responsibility for the accident. He blames himself for slowing down too abruptly upon crossing the finish line. As you riders know, simply letting go of the throttle rapidly decreases the acceleration of the bike without having to touch the brakes. Franchi wasn’t expecting this immediate slow-down which resulted in the accident.

“This was a lot more my fault than I had originally thought,” Whitehurst said in the description of the YouTube video. “I did not think I chopped the throttle like that after the finish line. I take responsibility for what happened and I apologize to Luiz Franchi.”

This video teaches us a few lessons. Number one: make sure your gear fits you how it’s supposed to and that it’s securely in place. The chin strap was secured on Franchi’s helmet, but it flew off his head regardless. We don’t know exactly why, but it could have been because the helmet was too big, the strap was too loose, or it was just a freak, one-in-a-million incident. We can't help but wonder if the innovative Vozz strapless helmet would have helped.

Your helmet should be snug enough that you can’t wiggle it around on your head, but not so tight that it constricts blood flow. If you’re not sure what size you need, go someplace that sells helmets and they’ll be happy to help.

The second lesson we learn is to keep up your race speed for a while after crossing the finish line. Slow down gradually to ensure a safe finish to the race for yourself and everyone else on the track.

Franchi’s head might be okay, but he may need a new pair of pants.