Motorcycle riders know that no matter where you are, there are certain dangers that you face on two wheels. But did you know that Florida is the most dangerous state for motorcycle riders?
In fact, according to studies done by AAA and the National Highway of Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Sunshine State has the highest number of motorcycle-related fatalities in the U.S.
Florida Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Motorcycle accident fatalities have been increasing in Florida for years. In 2021, there were 600 motorcycle fatalities in Florida, accounting for 20% of all traffic-related fatalities:
- 2016 – 545 motorcycle deaths
- 2017- 552 motorcycle deaths
- 2018 – 531 motorcycle deaths
- 2019 – 550 motorcycle deaths
- 2020 – 516 motorcycle deaths
- 2021 – 600 motorcycle deaths and 6,000 motorcycle accidents
Why Florida Roads Are So Dangerous for Riders
While there isn’t a singular, clear-cut reason for the high fatality number, several factors may contribute to Florida being the most dangerous state for motorcycle riders.
Motorcycles are extremely popular in the state. As of 2020, there were over 620,007 motorcycles registered in Florida. It is also home to the annual Daytona Beach Bike Week, which is the largest motorcycle event in the nation and brings half a million people to the area each year, many of whom are avid riders.
Since the pandemic, Florida has also seen a large uptick in people moving there from all over the country. There is road construction and highway/road traffic everywhere. Road rage and large backups have caused bikers to lane split to get thru heavy backups. These lane-splitting riders take traffic off the road, and motorcycles are air-cooled and tend to overheat when sitting in traffic for long periods of time.
Additionally, the year-round warm weather means that motorcyclists are able to ride more frequently. Ultimately, more riders on the road mean that motorcycle accidents occur more frequently, leading to higher numbers of fatalities and severe injuries that often require the assistance of an attorney. Other common causes of motorcycle accidents in Florida include:
- Rain, storms, or other poor weather conditions
- Road construction
- Drunk or impaired drivers
- Tourists unfamiliar with the roads
Motorcycle Awareness and Safety Begins with US
Here are some things that riders can do to give themselves and their families added protection so that in the event of a motorcycle accident your family isn’t scrambling, trying to figure out how the family will get thru recovery.
Get an Insurance Review and Understand what coverages you actually have when you ride. The #1 comment a driver makes when they hit a motorcycle rider is I DIDN’T SEE THEM. The #1 comment a biker makes after an accident is I THOUGHT I HAD BETTER COVERAGE or I thought full coverage covered everything.
Insurance coverages/Reviews – Bike insurance, 2nd to safety gear, motorcycle insurance is the most essential item you can have for your bike. It outranks 85.00 Harley-Davidson shirts, cool chrome accessories, jackets, and rain gear….it outranks everything. Without good bike insurance and add-ons such as under-insured or uninsured motorists, the injured riders will be surprised how uninsured they are and what the current bike insurance covers. BikerDown Foundation offers motorcycle riders FREE Insurance reviews through their legal sponsors who will look over your policy and tell you what you need. BikerDown and our sponsors don’t sell insurance, the motorcycle attorneys SUE INSURANCE and will give you an honest FREE evaluation.
Consider Some Additional Safety Gear
Helmets – There has long been the argument that motorcycle riders should have the right to wear or not wear a helmet, and this writer agrees. However, it is a proven fact that helmets can save lives and lessen traumatic brain injury which will lessen your time in the hospital.
Helmets can cost 50 bucks or thousands of dollars, but the price doesn’t directly correlate to safety. Any new helmet from an established company (Shoei, AGV, Bell) with a Department of Transportation (“DOT”) certification sticker will meet industry-regulated crash standards and protect you. Stick to known brands, and you’ll be safe. Spending more than $150 or so gets you into helmets that are lighter, quieter, and generally more comfortable than entry-level models. If you’re on a budget, Icon’s Airform is a solid value. You can opt for an open-face, 3/4, or half helmet like you might see people wear on Vespas. But on motorcycles, the majority of head injuries from accidents happen around the jaw, which makes the case for buying a full-face.
Gloves – When you fall and instinctively (though in futility) try to catch yourself, your hands will likely hit the ground first. Motorcycle-specific gloves have reinforced palms and knuckles to absorb the impact, and slide on the pavement. That means that, rather than gripping the asphalt and likely hyperextending or breaking your wrist, your hands slide with the rest of your (protected) body until you stop. Spending above $100 generally means you’ll get those, plus ergonomic stitching that preserves your dexterity. Make sure your gloves have a wrist strap, which keeps them secure if you go down.
Kevlar Pants – This is one of the most pricey additions to your safety gear, and some bikers will have a hard time understanding the value versus the cost.
Clothes made of Kevlar can be designed to provide a strong protective barrier against abrasions, slashes, cuts, and punctures, due to the fully extended and perfectly aligned molecular chains within its fiber. Additionally, Kevlar fibers will not melt, drip, or support combustion.
Finally, Kevlar can provide short-term protection against thermal injury because it is inherently flame resistant. When you wear motorcycle jeans with Kevlar inserts, lining, or padding, you may be able to avoid burns to the skin or reduce burns due to abrasion from the heat generated from sliding.
D30 Armor Jackets or Jeans – Everyone has watched motorcycle racing and seen a rider slide and hit barriers and walk away with little to no injury? That is because the safety gear he is wearing is made to protect him. Let me introduce you to D30 armor?
D3O®, is a unique material used in impact protection equipment that is shaping the future of motorcycle safety. Read more to find out exactly how D30 is improving the world of motorcycle safety…
What is ‘D3O’?
D3O is an innovative, smart materials company that specializes in impact protection and shock absorption.
Initially discovered by British engineer Richard Palmer at the University of Hertfordshire; it wasn’t until 2006 when D3O became a commercialized product we are beginning to see in all types of protective equipment including military wear, sportswear including motorcycle apparel.
Today, D3O® shock absorption technology solutions lead and challenge the world of impact protection across a wide range of markets.
In closing taking a few extra steps to make sure you have the correct insurance and safety gear to keep you safe in the event of an accident will help you enjoy the ride and get home safe to your friends/family. There is no cost that is too much to save your life.