A recent analysis of Florida motorcycle accidents published by law firm Salter, Healy, Rivera & Heptner took a closer look at the most dangerous state for motorcyclists – Florida. This fact has been established for years due to the extremely high number of fatal crashes per number of residents, particularly in Daytona Beach where an annual motorcycle event takes place.
Using data from the NHTSA and FLHSMV, the study examined a variety of factors including helmet use, location, and alcohol impairment. Below are some of the key findings.
Accidents & Injuries: Overview
- In Florida, motorcycle accidents and injuries slightly decreased from 2018 to 2019 and again from 2019 to 2020. However, fatal motorcycle accidents increased slightly each year.
- In 2019, Florida accounted for 11% of fatal motorcycle accidents in the U.S., making it the state with the most fatalities that year. Florida also accounted for 9% of motorcycle accident injuries.
- Non-incapacitating injuries were the most common result of motorcycle crashes in 2020, for both drivers and passengers in Florida.
While Miami-Dade is the county with the highest number of fatal crashes, Volusia County has a higher than average percentage of fatalities. This could be because Daytona Beach is located in Volusia County. Lee County is one of the 10 largest counties but did not make the list, meaning it has a lower than average percentage of fatalities.
- The study shows the breakdown of helmet use per type of injury. It also shows that motorcycle passengers who were involved in an accident were less likely to be wearing a helmet than drivers.
- In 2019, of the fatal motorcycle accidents where helmet use was known, 52% of motorcycle fatalities in Florida involved a driver with no helmet. The state with the highest percentage of unhelemted fatalities was Iowa with 80%.
- In 2020, 265 motorcycle drivers died while wearing a DOT-compliant helmet. There were also 231 fatalities where no helmet was worn.
Compared to the rest of the United States, Florida was surprisingly more than halfway down the list of alcohol-impaired fatalities.
- Despite its high number of accidents, Florida is tied for 32nd place with 27% of fatal accidents involving an intoxicated driver.
- Rhode Island had the highest percentage of alcohol-impaired motorcycle drivers with 64%.
|Rank||State||Total # Fatalities||BAC .08+||% of Fatalities with BAC .08+|
|32||District of Columbia||3||1||27%|
Motorcycle Accident Prevention
No matter what state you live in, if you will be operating a motor vehicle, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings. Motorcyclists are at a high risk for injury and death due to the lack of protection that motorcycles provide. Without the safety net of a metal frame or airbags, it is crucial that motorcycle riders and drivers who share the road take extra care. If you are a motorcyclist, make sure to always use a helmet – ideally a DOT compliant one – as well as reflective gear, gloves, and thick clothes. If you are a car driver, always check your blind spots before changing lanes. It is the responsibility of everyone on the road to drive safe.