In a recent blog post on the Skilled Motorcyclist Association’s website, a man described how his high-quality motorcycle equipment saved his life when he struck a deer. The post, titled “Quality Gear vs. Deer,” describes a terrifying moment when the veteran biker struck a deer.

The motorcyclist, who has been riding bikes for nearly 40 years, said that he wasn’t always a proponent of motorcycle safety equipment, but after attending a motorcycle safety program, he decided to invest in some safety equipment. That decision saved his life when, in 2009, he got into an accident with a deer, totaled his motorcycle, broke his shoulder, broke five ribs and punctured his lung.

The emergency room doctors who treated him were surprised that he didn’t have more external injuries. His shredded armored riding coat and battered full-face helmet bore the brunt of the crash. The doctors told him that if it weren’t for his safety equipment he may have needed to stay in the hospital several weeks longer or he might have died from the collision.

The man said that he is now an advocate for buying the right motorcycle gear, especially a good helmet. He also says that he practices swerving and breaking to improve his handling skills. He also uses what’s called the “SEE” safety method, which stands for “search, evaluate and execute,” and allows him to identify potential threats and obstacles to best avoid them.

The rider who wrote this blog piece is clearly lucky to be alive. There are many other riders who — even though they wore the right safety equipment — did not survive their motorcycle crashes. If you lost a loved one in a motorcycle tragedy, you might want to investigate whether you and your other family members can pursue a claim for wrongful death damages in court.