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Florida Motorcycle Accident Statistics

Florida Motorcycle Accident Statistics

Posted By Salter Healy | March 9 2022 | Motorcycle Accidents

With Florida’s warm and sunny weather, it’s no surprise that many residents choose to ride motorcycles. In 2020 there were an estimated 620,077 registered motorcyclists in Florida. Unfortunately, the lack of protection on motorcycles makes them more dangerous in the case of an accident. Without airbags and the metal frame of a car, motorcyclists and their passengers are more exposed to elements and therefore have a high risk of injury. Additionally, the small size of motorcycles makes them susceptible to being in another driver’s blind spot.

Due to the high number of motorcycle accidents in the country, there is plenty of data to analyze. In addition to the total number of motorcycle accidents, we examined factors including injury type, helmet use, county, and how Florida compares to the rest of the country.

Florida Motorcycle Accident & Injury Resources

Florida Motorcycle Accidents & Injury Data

Motorcycle Accidents & Injury Type, 2018-2020

As shown in the graph below, motorcycle accidents and injuries decreased between 2018-2020, however the number of fatal motorcycle accidents increased slightly over the 3 year period. That means that the percentage of motorcycle accidents where a fatality occurred increased.

Motorcycle Accidents & Injuries in Florida

Motorcycle Driver & Passenger Injuries, 2020

According to motorcycle accident data from 2020, motorcycle drivers sustained far more injuries and fatalities than passengers. This makes sense because not all motorcycle accidents involve a passenger. The graph also shows that non-incapacitating injuries were the most common, for both drivers and passengers.

Florida Motorcyle Injuries - Drivers & Passengers

Motorcycle Accidents Per Florida County

Because Florida is known as one of the most dangerous states for motorcyclists, we wanted to take a closer look at the breakdown of accidents per county.

Top 10 Florida Counties with Most Motorcycle Accidents

  • As you can see, the Florida county with the most motorcycle accidents is Miami-Dade, with an average of 1,004 crashes over the last 3 years
  • While it could be assumed that this data reflects the number of residents per county, it doesn’t follow that ratio exactly. Lee County is in the top 10 largest Florida counties, but didn’t make it on the list. This means it has a lower than average number of motorcycle accidents.
  • Conversely, Volusia County did make the list but is not in the top 10 largest counties, meaning that it has a higher percentage of motorcycle accidents than other counties.

Motorcycle Accident Injuries and Helmet Use

Helmets that are approved by the Department of Transportation, referred to as DOT-Compliant helmets, are recommended for all motorcyclists. Helmets that are approved will have a sticker on the back, saying “DOT” as well as the manufacturer and/or model number.

The fit of the helmet is extremely important for providing proper protection. Additional safety gear like a thick jacket, pants, boots and gloves can also help prevent injuries in the case of a crash. 

Florida Drivers’ Helmet Use

Helmet Use & Injury Type of Motorcycle Drivers in Florida Accidents

In addition to the data shown on the graph, there were 13 fatal motorcycle accidents where a non-DOT Compliant helmet was used, and 8 fatal accidents where helmet use was not specified.

Florida Passengers’ Helmet Use

Helmet Use & Injury Type of Motorcycle Passengers in Florida Accidents

According to the data, motorcycle passengers who were involved in an accident were less likely to be wearing a helmet than drivers. Not shown are 2 fatalities where a passenger had a non-DOT compliant helmet, and 3 passenger fatalities where helmet use was not specified.

Percentage of Motorcycle Fatalities Per State Who Were Unhelmeted, 2019

In 2019, of the fatal motorcycle accidents where helmet use was known, the following table shows what percentage of fatalities were unhelmeted. Surprisingly, Florida isn’t in the top ten. 52% of motorcycle fatalities in Florida did not wear a helmet, which is tied for 13th place.

Rank State # Fatalities % of Fatalities Who Were Unhelmeted
1 Iowa 44 80%
2 South Carolina 153 77%
3 Hawaii 20 74%
3 Indiana 127 74%
3 Kentucky 92 74%
3 Maine 27 74%
7 Illinois 138 73%
8 Minnesota 46 72%
8 Ohio 162 72%
10 Kansas 41 68%
11 Connecticut 46 65%
11 New Mexico 55 65%
11 Oklahoma 68 65%
14 North Dakota 11 64%
14 Wisconsin 85 64%
16 Montana 23 61%
17 Wyoming 15 57%
18 Arkansas 64 54%
19 Colorado 103 53%
20 Arizona 175 52%
20 Florida 591 52%
22 Pennsylvania 176 51%
23 Michigan 134 50%
23 South Dakota 14 50%
23 Utah 34 50%
26 New Hampshire 30 48%
27 Texas 416 47%
28 Delaware 18 44%
29 Idaho 25 40%
30 Alaska 6 33%
30 District of Columbia 3 33%
32 West Virginia 28 32%
33 Rhode Island 13 25%
34 New Jersey 85 17%
35 Alabama 93 16%
36 Oregon 57 15%
37 Vermont 8 14%
38 Louisiana 87 13%
38 Mississippi 40 13%
38 Tennessee 155 13%
41 Virginia 102 11%
42 Maryland 75 10%
42 Missouri 123 10%
44 Georgia 170 9%
44 North Carolina 208 9%
46 New York 136 8%
47 Nevada 56 7%
48 California 474 6%
49 Nebraska 25 5%
50 Washington 91 2%
51 Massachusetts 46 0%

 

Top 10 States with the Most Motorcycle Rider Fatalities

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration collects data for all reported traffic accidents in the United States. According to their data, Florida had the highest number of motorcycle rider fatalities in 2019, as shown on the graph below.

Top 10 States with Most Motorcycle Rider Fatalities

  • In 2019, 11% of motorcycle fatalities in the U.S. occurred in Florida. There were 5,014 nationally and 559 in Florida, making it the state with the most fatal motorcycle accidents that year.
  • An estimated 84,000 motorcyclists were injured in 2019 nationally, with 7,719 in Florida. That means Florida accounted for 9% of motorcycle injuries in the U.S. that year.

Which States Had the Most Alcohol-Impaired Motorcycle Fatalities?

When it comes to motorcycle fatalities where the driver was under the influence of alcohol, Rhode Island had the highest percentage with 64% in 2019. Similarly to the helmet data, Florida is farther down the list than may be expected with their high number of fatal crashes. Florida is tied for 32nd place with 27% of fatal accidents involving an intoxicated driver.

Rank State Total # Fatalities BAC .08+ % of Fatalities with BAC .08+
1 Rhode Island 11 7 64%
2 Iowa 38 17 44%
2 Massachusetts 44 20 44%
4 Wyoming 12 5 43%
5 Montana 22 9 42%
6 Connecticut 43 18 41%
7 West Virginia 27 11 39%
8 Idaho 24 9 37%
8 Illinois 131 48 37%
8 Texas 400 147 37%
11 New Jersey 79 28 36%
12 Virginia 93 32 35%
13 Delaware 15 5 34%
13 Kansas 36 12 34%
13 Louisiana 85 29 34%
13 Minnesota 41 14 34%
17 Ohio 148 49 33%
18 North Dakota 9 3 32%
18 South Carolina 140 45 32%
20 Alabama 90 27 30%
20 Colorado 93 28 30%
20 Maine 25 8 30%
20 Michigan 126 38 30%
20 Nebraska 24 7 30%
20 New Mexico 49 15 30%
26 Indiana 120 35 29%
26 New Hampshire 27 8 29%
26 Washington 89 26 29%
26 Wisconsin 79 23 29%
30 Oregon 53 15 28%
30 Tennessee 147 42 28%
32 Arizona 169 46 27%
32 California 451 123 27%
32 District of Columbia 3 1 27%
32 Florida 559 149 27%
36 Hawaii 20 5 26%
36 Nevada 55 14 26%
36 New York 129 33 26%
39 Alaska 4 1 25%
39 Maryland 71 18 25%
39 Oklahoma 66 17 25%
42 Missouri 120 29 24%
42 Pennsylvania 166 39 24%
44 Georgia 164 38 23%
44 North Carolina 203 48 23%
46 Mississippi 37 8 22%
47 Utah 34 7 21%
48 Arkansas 58 12 20%
49 Kentucky 83 16 19%
50 Vermont 7 1 16%
51 South Dakota 14 2 15%

 

Safety Tips

When operating a motor vehicle, no matter what kind, it is important to take responsibility for your own safety. Even if you follow all rules of the road, there are plenty of unforeseen obstacles that may require a fast response. Use the following safety tips to reduce your risk of an accident.

For Motorcyclists

As a motorcyclist, it’s important to remember that you are not as visible as other drivers.

  • Wear reflective gear to maximize your visibility to other drivers.
  • Use a DOT-compliant helmet. If you don’t have access to a DOT-compliant one, wearing any helmet is better than none.
  • Be fully alert and aware, taking in your surroundings. Be sure to never drive while impaired.

For Drivers

As a driver, it’s important to be aware of other vehicles around you.

  • Always check your blind spots before changing lanes.
  • When merging with a motorcyclist, give them space. It can be hard to determine their speed and distance.
  • Don’t drive too closely behind a motorcyclist, because they have the ability to slow down without using brake lights.
  • Be aware that motorcyclists sometimes need to move to avoid debris in the road.

If you are injured in a Florida motorcycle crash, contact the motorcycle accident attorneys at Salter, Healy, Rivera and Heptner.

Sources:

https://www.flhsmv.gov/resources/crash-citation-reports/
https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/813112
https://www.statista.com/statistics/191002/number-of-registered-motorcycles-in-the-us-by-state/
https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2015/05/21/2015-11756/federal-motor-vehicle-safety-standards-motorcycle-helmets

 

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