Motorcycle Accidents By The Numbers

 
Category: 
Motorcycle Accidents

By Matthew A. Dolman – Florida Motorcycle Accident Attorney

In 2014, the U.S. motorcycle registration statistics showed that Florida is only second to California when it comes to how many people publicly, privately and commercially own motorcycles. In fact, according to Statista, it is shown that Florida has 558,123 people registered and licensed to drive in the state. This large volume of drivers leads to many motorcycle accidents. The beautiful climate and tropical temperatures of Florida attract riders of all ages.

The State of Florida also has many routes that are listed on motorcycle enthusiast blogs that are pleasing roads motorcyclists ride on due to an inviting climate, beautiful views and sensible rides. Our state has also been a popular place for motorcyclists to live and visit due to an array of annual biking events and features for riders of all ages.

Accidents By Numbers

And yet with the popularity, there’s also an increased risk of a motorcycle crash. The last reported number for fatalities due to vehicle accidents were tallied in 2013, whereas 2,494 where gravely injured. Out of those statistics, motorcycle fatalities account for about 18% or 449 people who had an unfortunate ending [1].

For the incorporation of the counties we represent, knowing the counties with the highest number of motorcycle fatalities can help improve awareness to hazardous areas. Of course, the largest counties have the highest number of motorcyclist fatalities. The statewide motorcyclist fatality rate is approximately 2.0 fatalities per every 100,000 people. The following counties accounted for 202 motorcyclist fatalities, or over half of the state’s 376 recorded fatalities. These counties include:

  • Miami-Dade-45 fatalities (rate-1.8)
  • Broward-23 (rate-1.3)
  • Palm Beach-18 (rate-1.4)
  • Orange-25 (rate-2.2)
  • Hillsborough-27 (rate-2.2)
  • Pinellas-24 (rate-2.6)
  • Volusia-22 (rate-4.3)

Both nationally and in Florida, there were fewer deaths caused by motorcycle crashes in 2013 than in 2012. The 4,668 motorcyclist deaths across the United States represented a 6% drop from 2012. For Florida, over the last decade, the population has increased by 17.7%. Still, between the last couple of years, motorcycle fatalities have decreased by 15.7%.

However, across the nation, the overall rate of fatal motorcycle accidents increased each year from 2004 (4,028) to 2008 (5,312). Deaths dropped sharply in 2009 (4,469) before beginning another annual increase that lasted until 2012 (4,986).Motorcycle injuries followed a different pattern. The number of injured motorcycle riders increased annually from 2004 (76,000) through 2007 (103,000). The injury rate fell in 2008 (96,000) and continued to decline each year until 2011 (81,000). More riders were injured in 2012 (93,000) while the number of injuries fell in 2013 (88,000).

A comparison of motorcycle accidents to car accidents shows that motorcycle riders, lacking the protection of a “cage,” are at greater risk of injury or death when they take to the road than are car drivers or passengers. Per mile traveled in 2013, motorcyclists were killed in crashes 26 times more often than the occupants of passenger cars.

Who’s Most Effected in Florida?

Florida’s Traffic Safety Facts states that in 2009, fatalities of people aged 45 to 54 accounted for almost 23% of all motorcyclist fatalities. Moreover, almost 19% of motorcyclists killed fall into the 25 to 34 year old category. As such, just over 17% of motorcyclist fatalities were ages 35 to 44.

When including our older citizens, individuals aged 65 years old and older account for 6% of motorcyclist fatalities.  Overall, approximately 93% of all motorcyclists and passenger fatalities were male and there was an estimated 8% that were female.

Continually, two-lane highways claim the lives of motorcyclists more than any other roadway, at 40%. Four-lane roadways are responsible for just over 31% of motorcyclist fatalities. Just over 16% of motorcyclist fatalities take place on six-lane highways. Undeniably, speed is a factor in some of these crashes. Of all the crashes, about 9% were traveling at 80mph or greater at the time of the incident. Consequently, 21% of fatal crashes occurred while the motorcycle was being operated at least 20 mph over the maximum posted speed limit.

Most deadly crashes in the state of Florida occurred in April, with 10.6% of all fatalities. November came in second with 9.5% of the motorcyclist fatalities. For the week, Saturday is the most deadly day for motorcyclists with 21% of fatalities occurring on this day. Sunday was a close second to Saturday with 19% of all motorcyclist fatalities occurring on this day. The weekend, unsurprisingly, is the most deadly time of the week to go out riding. In regards to time, just over 43% of motorcyclists are killed in a traffic crash when it is light outside. A little over 30% of motorcyclists die from a traffic crash when it is dark outside, but the street is illuminated.

Nineteen percent of fatalities of motorcyclists die in crashes when it is dark outside.

While it’s widely known that Florida has lax laws regarding helmets, there are still guidelines that are signed into law for motorcycle enthusiasts. Anyone under the age of 16 must wear a Department approved motorcycle helmet and may only ride as a passenger on any motorcycle, moped, and motor-driven cycle regardless of engine size. Anyone 16 years of age, but less than 21 years of age must wear a Department approved helmet when operating or riding upon a motorcycle [2]. Nevertheless, if these numbers prove anything, it’s still much safer and smarter to always wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle.

To make sure that you receive the most damages possible, it is essential to contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney who knows the statistics surrounding a transportation method that many in Florida enjoy.

References:

[1] http://www.statista.com/statistics/191002/number-of-registered-motorcycles-in-the-us-by-state/
[2] http://www.motorcycleroads.com/radar.php
[3] http://www.flhsmv.gov/html/factsfigures/factsfiguresinfographic.pdf
[4] http://www.flhsmv.gov/html/VulnerableUsersRpts/Motorcycles2010.pdf

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