7 Florida Motorcycle Accident Statistics Every Driver Should Know
Just within the past 7 days, there were 4 serious motorcycle accidents in the Tampa Bay area alone – resulting in 2 motorcyclist deaths and 2 cases of life-threatening injuries – and those are just the ones that were covered by the major news media outlets.
If you live in Florida, you probably realize that motorcycle accidents and deaths are common, but you may not realize just how frequently these tragic, preventable crashes occur or what you can do to help minimize the chances of being involved and injured in a motorcycle crash.
The Florida Law Group fights for maximum compensation for injured motorcycle accident victims and their families. Since 1984, our law firm has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for injured motorcyclists and for the families of deceased motorcyclists. We know well how devastating these kinds of accidents can be and what safety tips can be followed in order to decrease the chances of causing a motorcycle accident or being seriously hurt in one! Here are 10 Florida motorcycle accident statistics that every driver should know in order to make the roads safer for everyone.
In 2019, there were 8,895 Florida motorcycle crashes; that amounts to over 24 crashes per day in our state.
24 crashes may seem like an insignificant number, but it’s not just 24 lives who are being changed every day by the aftermath of an accident. Because motorcycle crashes result in either injury or death, think of all of the people – family members, coworkers, friends – who are impacted by a single crash. Motorcycle accident injuries can be expensive to treat, so the cost of these 24 crashes a day can amount to billions of dollars in medical spending.
March is the month with the most serious motorcyclist injuries and fatalities; Saturday is the day with most serious motorcyclist injuries and fatalities.
In Florida, the most dangerous time to ride a motorcycle is on any given Saturday in March. The weather tends to be cool and crisp in March in Florida – free of the summer’s humidity and the winter’s cold. This means that more motorcyclists are outside taking advantage of the mild temperatures, and because most motorcyclists and other drivers don’t work Saturdays, it makes sense that the roads are more crowded and accidents are more likely to ensue. This isn’t the most helpful statistic on this list, as an accident can occur at any time, but it is interesting to note that there may be a correlation between crowded streets, good weather, weekends, and motorcycle crashes.
In multi-vehicle crashes, motorists are at fault only 26% of the time (on average).
This statistic comes from the Florida DOT Crash Analysis Reporting System. Most of the time, motorcycle accidents are the fault of a negligent driver (not the motorcyclist), and that has been revealed in study after study; it’s why you see bumper stickers reminding you to “look twice and save a life”. People who are speeding, driving recklessly, texting, not paying attention to the road, or are under the influence are more likely to be involved in a fatal motorcycle crash that could change the lives of many people – not just the victim – forever.
In single-vehicle crashes, motorists are at fault 35% of the time (on average).
The same Florida DOT Crash Analysis Reporting System shows that even in single-vehicle crashes, those involving only one motorcycle, the motorcyclists are at fault less than half of the time. Other drivers may force them to swerve off the road and hit other objects, or the motorcycle itself may malfunction. In 35% of those cases, it is the motorcyclist’s fault, but that is a lower percentage than one may expect in a single-vehicle collision.
There are 10 times as many unhelmeted motorcyclist fatalities in states without universal helmet laws (1,777) as in states with universal helmet laws (170) in 2017.
Helmets really do save lives. In 2017, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated that 750 more motorcyclists could have been saved if they had been wearing helmets. Wearing a helmet while riding reduces the risk of head injury by 70%, the risk of cervical spine injury by 50%, and the risk of death by 42%, according to some studies.
Florida does not have a universal helmet law, but even though it is not illegal to go without a helmet, it is extremely unsafe. You have no control over other driver’s actions, so you cannot always predict a crash; you can take steps to do the utmost to protect your life and your passenger’s life.
There are more motorcycle accidents in Florida than any other state, although if you look at the fatalities per registered motorcycles, it drops a few rankings.
In 2017, Florida had 590 fatalities, the most of any state, but had only 10.06 fatalities per registered motorcycle. This was the 4th highest rate in the nation.
Of the 4,985 motorcyclists killed in 2018, 26% were alcohol-impaired.
Alcohol, unfortunately, plays a significant role in motorcycle collisions. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) showed that 1,213 of the motorcyclists killed in 2018 had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of over 0.08%, the legal limit. 373 others (8% of the fatalities) had BACs somewhere between 0.01% and 0.07% – not high enough to be “illegal”, but high enough to impair their judgement or response times and contribute to causation. Motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes are more likely to be intoxicated than other drivers; 25% of motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes were intoxicated compared to 21% of passenger car drivers, 19% of truck drivers, and 3% of commercial truck drivers.
Don’t drive a motorcycle – or any other vehicle – if you are not completely sober! Getting behind the wheel while drunk, buzzed, or even with alcohol still in your system is illegal and dangerous, and can be deadly. It’s not worth it when there are so many other options like ridesharing services available to give you an alternative to driving under the influence.
Hopefully, reading about how common and dangerous motorcycle accidents are will give you motivation to follow the laws and keep yourself and all motorcyclists safe on Florida roads. If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle crash, call The Florida Law Group’s aggressive attorneys immediately to set up a free consultation, find out how much your case is worth, and begin fighting for justice. It is not uncommon for us to recover multi-million dollar settlements for injured Florida motorcyclists!