Hospital trauma staff have a special name for motorcycles: donorcycles. They use this reference because statistics bear out that riding a motorcycle without a helmet dramatically increases the odds that the motorcycle driver will become an organ donor far too soon in his or her life.
And if the current data doesn’t prove this point, a new study from Michigan may drive it home. The study found that organ donations from unhelmed riders tripled after the state repealed its mandatory helmet law.
The study was conducted by doctors from Michigan State University and used data collected between 2009 and 2015 of fatal motorcycle accidents using information from Michigan’s Gift of Life organ donation database and the Michigan Trauma Quality Improvement Program. The state’s helmet law was repealed in 2012, enabling researchers to compare organ donations both before and after helmets were no longer required.
The conclusion of the study was those motorcycle riders who do not wear helmets are three times as likely to die in a crash than those that do. The study also found there was a dramatic spike in the number of victims who died from severe head injuries after the law was repealed.
In addition to the increase in deaths, researchers found that the average age of death among helmetless riders dropped following the law’s repeal from about 41 to 33 years of age. Helmetless riders who do survive the crash often suffer extensive brain trauma, leaving them with long-term or permanent disabilities.
North Carolina Helmet Law
Fortunately for riders, North Carolina does require the use of helmets for both drivers and passengers on motorcycles. While this issue is often a contentious one, there is far too much evidence that supports the fact that helmets do save lives. It is also critical that riders wear other protective gear when they are going on the road, including shatter-proof eye protection, full finger gloves, boots, pants, and jackets. In order to really be protected, all protective clothing and boots should be made of leather, not cloth.
Contact a Dedicated North Carolina Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, you may be facing high medical bills and other financial difficulties. Our North Carolina personal injury attorneys understand that the injuries motorcycle accident victims sustain often leave them with permanent disabilities that not only create physical limitations but also result in significant financial losses.
It is critical not to delay contacting the legal team at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp because North Carolina strict rules regarding how long you have to file your personal injury claim. If the statute of limitations expires, you will be unable to collect financial damages for losses you or your family may be entitled to.
Our Carolinas accident firm has successfully advocated for many motorcycle accident clients and has gotten them the financial damages they deserved. We are available to discuss your case. We also offer a free motorcycle injury guide which offers information that you may find helpful.