Why Do Medical Professionals Nickname Motorcyclists “Organ Donors?”

If you’re a motorcyclist, you've probably heard the term "organ donor" in certain circles. But what does it mean in relation to riding?motorcycle crash

"Organ donor" is slang used by experienced riders, emergency room staff, doctors, nurses, and police officers to refer to motorcyclists who either ride without a helmet or, in cyclist's lingo, ride like a "SQUID":  an acronym for "stupidly quick, underdressed, and imminently dead." The lack of protective features on motorcycles, in conjunction with a rider failing to use a helmet or operating the bike recklessly, directly influences the severity of his injuries. In fatal motorcycle accidents, riders most likely die from head injuries, allowing the rest of the body's organs to be donated.

Fatality Facts or Fiction: The Truth About Motorcycle Death Rates

A number of different agencies track motorcycle accident severity and fatalities. While this information is sobering, it probably won't stop someone intent on experiencing the thrill and freedom of motorcycle riding. But these statistics should at least encourage proper techniques and the use of safety precautions.

These statistics for the United States are taken from the 2014 data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS); the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA); and the Department of Transportation (DOT). 

  • In 2014, approximately 4,500 motorcyclists were killed in traffic collisions (NHTSA).
  • Thirty-nine percent of fatally injured motorcyclists sustained severe head trauma as a result of not wearing helmets (IIHS).
  • The majority of motorcycle fatalities (51 percent) result from collisions between the rider and another vehicle in motion (DOT). 
  • Fatalities for motorcyclists over age 40 increased by 14 percent between 2005 and 2014 (NHTSA).
  • Single vehicle/motorcycle collisions accounted for 1,797, or 42 percent, of all motorcycle fatalities (IIHS).
  • Multiple vehicle/motorcycle collisions accounted for 2,498, or 58 percent, of motorcyclist fatalities (IIHS).
  • From 2012 to 2013, motorcycle injuries increased by 4.5 percent, from 88,000 to 92,000 and are projected to increase further (NHTSA). 
  • Male riders are 92 percent more likely to suffer fatal accidents than female riders. In 2014, 3,930 men were killed in collisions while 364 women suffered fatal injuries (IIHS).
  • In 2014, the fatality rate per registered vehicle for motorcyclists was six times the fatality rate for passenger car occupants (NHTSA).

For more information on motorcycle accident injuries, deaths, safety, or legal claims, please browse our extensive library of articles and resources. For a more personal and detailed discussion of a specific accident, contact our office at (386) 673-4412 to schedule your free consultation with one of our exceptional motorcycle accident attorneys.