8 Incredible Motorcycle Crash Survivor Stories

The appeal of motorcycles is easy to see. In movies, the handsome bad boys drive motorcycles with a beautiful girlfriend in tow, wind blowing through their hair. It is exhilarating to gain such speed without the padding of a car around you, as if you were flying. However, motorcycles are far more dangerous than cars. Motorcyclists are 35 times more likely to undergo a lethal accident than car drivers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Without wearing a helmet, those odds go up considerably. Most motorcycle enthusiasts have had at least a minor accident at some point, but we often hear the most about those sustained by celebrities. Below are a few celebrities that should probably invest in motorcycle insurance.

  1. Gary Busey

    Gary Busey was involved in a nearly fatal motorcycle accident on Dec. 4, 1988. Having recently picked up his motorcycle from the repair shop, he slid over a bit of gravel at 40 miles per hour, causing him to fling over the handlebars and strike the pavement with his exposed head. Busey was publicly against the idea of helmets until the accident occurred and took a chunk out of his head "the size of a half dollar". Busey barely survived the crash, but nonetheless fell into a four week coma in which he experienced a vision of the afterlife that changed his life forever. He was roused to consciousness on Jan. 6, 1989, and since then, has become a supporter of traumatic injury treatment and prevention. He also strongly advocates wearing a helmet.

  2. Ken Wahl

    Ken Wahl reportedly suffered his motorcycle accident on March 29, 1992 when driving his Harley Davidson on the Pacific Coast Highway. He alleges that a driver of an approaching car suddenly cut him off, causing a collision that put Wahl into a coma for the entirety of a month. Three of his vertebrae were broken, he had a concussion, a broken neck, and spinal cord damage. He states that some reconstructive surgery even had to be done on one of his vertebrae. Wahl has never fully recovered and continues to take pain medication, but interestingly enough, highway patrol have put the story into question. It appears that Wahl's story may be fabricated, perhaps to explain away addiction to alcohol and pain medication. Unquestioningly, Wahl did suffer a previous motorcycle accident some 10 years ago in which he received 187 stitches.

  3. Steven Tyler

    Steven Tyler was in a brutal motorcycle crash on January 24th 1981. He was on his way to pick up his daughter, Mia, from the babysitter. The crash tore open his heal and took nearly an entire year to heal, delaying greatly the release of the Aerosmith album, Rock in a Hard Place. He was also unable to tour or write music during this time. Tyler felt that, during his recovery, Aerosmith's musical presence was on the decline, and many people attribute his extreme drug use at the time to causing the crash.

  4. Mark Knopfler

    The former Dire Straits singer Mark Knopfler was involved in a motorcycle crash on March 17, 2003. His Honda motorbike collided with a Fiat Punto car on Grosvenor Road, London, at around 10:50 a.m. He was then taken to St Thomas' Hospital where his injuries were tallied — six broken ribs and a broken collar bone. He was able to be discharged from the hospital later that evening. However, he spent months in recovery during which he was unable to write songs. The accident also prevented him from being able to perform at a charity concert with Eric Clapton the following week.

  5. Brian Kelly

    In 1970, Brian Kelly got in a motorcycle crash that paralyzed his right arm and leg. He was able to win a legal settlement for the accident of $750,000, but the injuries were serious enough to put a significant damper on his acting career. As getting acting jobs became difficult, he began to take the producing route, producing films such as Blade Runner and Cities of the Wild. The accident is said to have been caused by the engine exploding on his motorcycle.

  6. Liam Neeson

    Laim Neeson was running errands in July 2000 when a deer collided with his motorcycle and the bike crashed into a tree. The deer was struck dead and Neeson broke his pelvis. Neeson was discovered lodged in a tree and had to be cut from his clothing to be taken to the New York hospital where treatment ensued. He required extensive surgery. Because of the accident, he was unable to appear in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.

  7. Ben Roethlisberger

    In the summer prior to his third season, Ben Roethlisberger flipped over his motorcycle and collided with the windshield of an oncoming car. This happened in June 2006 on the outskirts of downtown Pittsburgh. Without a helmet, he suffered several injuries including a broken nose, broken jaw, and a large gash on the back of his head. He was also driving without a valid license to drive a motorcycle, which was met with widespread criticism by the media. Nonetheless, he was able to recuperate in time to start the Steelers' first three pre-season games.

  8. Arnold Schwarzenegger

    Daredevil action hero that he is, Arnold Schwarzenegger has been in several motorcycle accidents. In December 2001, he was hospitalized for four days for breaking six ribs in a motorcycle crash. The vehicle in front of him had come to an abrupt stop and Schwarzenegger was unable to come to a halt fast enough or change lanes. Then in January 2006, Schwarzenegger got into another motorcycle crash with his 12-year-old son Patrick in tow. He received 15 stitches in his lip and both he and Patrick were treated for additional cuts and bruises at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica. His son was riding sidecar to his Harley Davidson motorcycle with him when a driver on their street backed out of his driveway into them at a low speed. The injuries could have been much more serious had he been going any faster. Both were wearing helmets.

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