Donorcycles: Ride helmetless. The life you save won’t be your own.
Solve one problem, create another. Sure, helmets reduce motorcycle fatalities. But what about those poor people who need hearts and livers and kidneys from the people who die riding helmetless?
One study (PDF) dares to ask:
Government traffic safety mandates are typically designed to reduce the harmful externalities of risky behaviors. We consider whether motorcycle helmet laws also reduce a beneficial externality by decreasing the pool of viable organ donors. Our central estimates show that organ donations due to motor vehicle fatalities increase by 10 percent when states repeal helmet laws. Two characteristics of this association suggest that it is causal: first, nearly all of it is concentrated among men, who account for over 90 percent of all motorcyclist deaths, and second, helmet mandates are unrelated to organ donations due to circumstances other than motor vehicle accidents. Our estimates imply that every death of a helmetless motorcyclist prevents or delays as many as 0.33 deaths among individuals on organ transplant waiting lists.
Ride helmetless. The life you save won’t be your own.
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