A new paper from JAMA Internal Medicine links increased traumatic motorcycle injuries with large biker rallies and suggests that organ transplantation organizations plan accordingly.
According to the study, Organ Donation and Transplants During Major US Motorcycle Rallies, “there were 21% more organ donors and 26% more transplant recipients per day during motorcycle rallies in regions near those rallies compared with the 4 weeks before and after the rallies.”
The authors pointed out that motorcyclists are three times more likely than passenger car drivers to die in a traffic accident. They also noted the effectiveness of helmet laws in saving lives, citing statistics showing that unhelmeted bikers tripled their chances of becoming organ donors. ” In states where motorcycle helmets were previously required by law, helmet law repeal was associated with greater motor vehicle crash-related deceased organ donation,” the article stated.
According to the study, there were 21% more organ donors during large rallies than during other times of the year.
Traumatic Motorcycle Injuries
According to the New York Times, motor vehicle accidents are among the most common causes leading to organ donation by deceased people in the United States, which can only occur under particular conditions. Deceased donors have usually had devastating brain damage, but their other organs are in good enough condition to be transplanted. One in every thirty people who die in car accidents becomes an organ donor.
The JAMA study analyzed data from the seven largest motorcycle rallies in the United States: Sturgis Motorcycle Rally (Sturgis, South Dakota), Daytona Bike Week (Daytona Beach, Florida), Laconia Motorcycle Week (Laconia, New Hampshire), Myrtle Beach Bike Week Spring Rally (Myrtle Beach, South Carolina), Atlantic Beach Bikefest (also in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, following the former rally), Republic of Texas Biker Rally (Austin, Texas), and Bikes, Blues & BBQ (Austin (Fayetteville, Arkansas).
According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, non of the states in which these rallies are held have mandatory helmet laws. The increase in fatalities among unhelmeted bikers prompted one safety journal to publish a study called “Are motorcycles really “donorcycles?” which concluded that the increase in motorcycle accident death is “possibly due to the well-documented increase in severe traumatic brain injuries in this population.”
Michigan State University researchers presented a study in 2011 in the Journal of Law and Economics showing that motorcycle injuries and deaths increased organ donations by 10% in states that repealed helmet laws.
Most motorcycle injuries are due to accidents caused by car drivers. Despite public awareness campaigns urging motorists to keep alert for motorcycles, many drivers continue to cause accidents with negligent behaviors such as turning across oncoming motorcycle traffic. If you’ve suffered losses due to motorcycle injuries, talk to an Orlando car accident attorney at the Martinez Manglardi personal injury law firm. Call 866-730-3508 for a free consultation. Convenient locations throughout Central Florida.