Organ Donors on the Rise

The best source of organ donors, healthy people who die unexpectedly, has always been motorcycle riders. Ask any transplant surgeon. While fatalities from car accidents have declined dramatically in recent years, thanks to air bags and other safety technologies, fatalities among motorcycle riders actually rose some 5% (almost 5,000 people) last year. And, the situation is getting worse as older people join the ranks of the 20 to 30 year olds and as helmet use becomes a thing of the past. The sad truth is that organ donors are more plentiful than ever before thanks to these trends.

The best source of organ donors, healthy people who die unexpectedly, has always been motorcycle riders.  Ask any transplant surgeon.  While fatalities from car accidents have declined dramatically in recent years, thanks to air bags and other safety technologies, fatalities among motorcycle riders actually rose some 5% (almost 5,000 people) last year.  And, the situation is getting worse as older people join the ranks of the 20 to 30 year olds and as helmet use becomes a thing of the past.  The sad truth is that organ donors are more plentiful than ever before thanks to these trends. 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, riders were 34 times more likely to die in highway accidents than those in cars, when adjusted for miles traveled.  With older people joining the ranks of riders (those in their 40s), the number of people on motorcycles is increasing, as is the number of  healthy organ donors on the road.  To compound things, states are – for some unknown reason – repealing laws requiring riders to wear helmets.  Some thirty states have repealed helmet laws despite clear evidence that helmets prevent deaths.

 

There is obviously no quick fix here.  The rider lobby has become more powerful as the numbers of people on bikes have risen and as states have bowed to these pressures.  There is a disconnect here between danger and fun and the only bright side is that those waiting for healthy organs will have to wait a little less long.

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Comments

  • Anonymous

    August 02, 2007

    I read that 30 states have now repealed their helmet laws which is amazing to me.

  • Anonymous

    August 02, 2007

    If someone wants to get on a motorcycle without a helmet who am I to stop them. Look at that football player Ben Rothlisberger who almost became a vegetable because he refused to wear a helmet. Free choice means sometimes people will make bad choices, at least in my mind.

  • Matthew

    June 09, 2009

    Good for them, thats the price they pay for stupidity... and others benefit!

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