Ride And Die


Suzanne Golshanara

Motorcycles are certainly the ideal mode of transportation, especially for those wishing to be rapidly and irreversibly transported to the afterlife. These human death machines leave passengers completely unprotected, so it is no wonder that motorcycle riders die at a rate 29 times higher than those driving cars. However, there are no mass protests calling for the eradication of any and all motorcycles in the nation. People realize that informed adults have the right to make choices and take risks for themselves. Besides, when motorcyclists feel a need for speed, society benefits. Those deaths lead to a steady and superb source of grade-A organs. Motorcycle helmet laws greatly cut back on the supply of organs in an already tight market. In order to ensure the sick of this country have access to life-saving transplants, helmet laws should be either scaled back or removed altogether to ensure that there are always enough organs to go around.

Other than a few, every state has passed some form of a motorcycle helmet regulation, and there has even been discussion of a potential federal mandate requiring helmet usage. Helmet regulations can either be partial or universal. Partial helmet laws are explained by The Community Guide to “apply only to riders who are young, novices, or have medical insurance coverage below certain thresholds.” On the other hand, universal helmet laws, which are enforced in 19 states including California, require the compliance of all motorcyclists regardless of one’s age, experience, or insurance.

According to estimates done by the federal government, helmets decrease the likelihood of fatality by 37 percent and decrease the likelihood of brain injury by 67 percent. Such a decrease in fatalities has been correlated with a decrease in the supply of organs. In fact, a study done by Michigan State University found that after a state repeals its motorcycle helmet laws, there is a 10-percent increase in organ donations from people in motor vehicle accidents.

Motorcyclists provide the public with a lot of bang for its buck, as a single person can yield enough organs to save up to eight lives. They tend to be young, in fairly good health, and mostly only suffer from brain injuries after their accidents. Thus, they do not have your run-of-the-mill organs. Au contraire, theirs are of the highest-possible quality.

Whether or not someone wants to take life-saving, preventative measures should be a matter of choice. After all, unlike drunk driving which damages the organs of everyone involved and harms society as a whole, motorcyclists who choose not to wear a helmet hurt no one but themselves. So why don’t you grab a motorcycle, forget your helmet, and save some lives?

The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of the UCSD Guardian.