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Donor Cycles: Fatal Injury Risks of Motorcycle Design

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Little can compare to the feeling of riding a motorcycle on the lake roads of Louisiana. The sun shining on your face and arms, the salty smell of Lake Charles in your nose as the breeze rolls off the water—it is an extremely freeing experience that you can’t get in a stuffy car. However, although the experience can be life affirming, it can also be life threatening.

The terms “Cycle Donor” and “Donor Cycles” are widely used throughout the medical profession to describe motorcyclists and their bikes; these terms are a direct a result of the tragic number of severe injuries and fatalities caused by motorcycle accidents. The exposed design of motorcycles—although essential for the unrestrained freedom of the ride—provide little, if any protection. This design increases the driver’s and passenger’s risk of being thrown, crushed, dragged, battered and killed if in an accident.

Dangerous Design Features (or Lack Thereof)

  • Absence of protective outer barrier – The open carriage of a motorcycle allows you to see everything around you with nothing between you and the world. However, this also means that there is nothing between you and the concrete racing below you—or the 4,000 pounds worth of hard steel in the cars surrounding you.
  • Decreased stability – Although having two wheels can be an advantage when maneuvering, it can also cause tragic results when abruptly stopping. If not handled correctly the bike can tip and either drag you with it, or pin you underneath.
  • No seat belts – Prevents you from not being thrown from the bike during a collision.
  • No back support – Increases the risk of neck and spine injuries even in minor fender benders.
  • No airbags or impact safety measures – Newton’s Law states that every action has an equal but opposite reaction. This is why collision impacts generally causes the most harm in accidents. If you do not have anything to absorb the impact, your body has to—causing whiplash, tears, and internal bleeding, not to mention fatal impact trauma if thrown from the bike.

The freedom that comes with motorcycling obviously comes with risks. It is extremely important that you make sure that you’re obeying the rules of the road, motorcycle safety protocols, and are using good judgment while experiencing the beauty of what Louisiana has to offer.

Need more information about auto collisions? We invite you to contact us directly for a free consultation or to browse our other articles to learn more. 


Category: Auto Accidents


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