1 Severe Motorcycle Accident Caused the Driver’s Heart to Rotate 90 Degrees

Motorcycle crashes are far deadlier than car accidents. Following motorcycle safety tips, such as “ride like you are invisible,” can help you avoid a tragedy. And if you’re unable to evade an accident, safety gear such as helmets and airbag-equipped vests and jackets can help you escape death. But even with safety gear, you should always go to an emergency room to get checked after a crash. As one man in Italy found out, it could save your life. 

The motorcycle accident that caused the rider’s heart to rotate inside his chest

A man rides a motorcycle through the streets of Naples, Italy, in October 2012. One Italian man's motorcycle accident caused his heart to rotate 90 degrees.
A man rides a motorcycle through the streets of Naples, Italy, in October 2012 | Joseph DeSantis/Contributor via Getty Images

File this under “craziest motorcycle accident ever.” In 2014, an Italian man was in a serious motorbike crash and went to the local emergency room. There, doctors found an interesting injury, Live Science reports.

His heart rotated 90 degrees and ended up on the right side of his chest.

If you didn’t know, your heart should be on the left side, and it isn’t supposed to rotate. Doctors determined that a punctured lung had caused air to leak from his lungs and crowd the heart out of its normal position. Thankfully, medical staffers drained the air, and his heart returned to its proper location. 

Motorcycles are high-risk vehicles

Exposure and lack of visibility are the top two things that make motorcycles high-risk vehicles. Cars and trucks have difficulty seeing motorcycles due to their small size, which often puts riders’ safety in another drivers’ hands.

In addition, because riders are out in the open and not enclosed in a protective vehicle, any motorcycle accident can be deadly. Getting thrown from the bike without any protection, such as airbags, is a big reason why motorcycles are so dangerous.

How to stay safe on a motorbike

Even though motorcycles carry a high risk, there are many ways to mitigate hazards and stay safe while riding. The number-one tip — ride like you are invisible — is the most important. Don’t assume other drivers see you. Despite modern cars’ advanced safety features, such as blind-spot monitoring, you should never rely on other drivers or their vehicles’ safety features.

While you should ride as if you’re invisible, you can also do things to make yourself more visible, including wearing reflective and bright colors. And always wear motorcycle safety gear, including a helmet, a protective jacket, boots, and pants. Additionally, ensure that your bike is working properly and that you’re comfortable operating it. 

If you love riding motorcycles or even the idea of riding them, don’t let this story deter you. Though a rotating heart is definitely dramatic, there’s a reason this man’s story appears in medical journals: It is a rare case. Additionally, according to reports, it appears the driver recovered quickly after doctors drained the excess air from his chest. 

The main takeaway from this story is that with high risk comes high reward. Wearing appropriate safety gear, remaining laser-focused on the road and the surrounding environment, and following safety tips, tricks, and rules will help minimize your risk and maximize your reward. And always see a doctor if you’re in an accident. Going to the emergency room might seem like a bother and an expense, but it can save your life.

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