NHTSA: Florida leads the nation in motorcycle crash fatalities

Posted at 6:27 AM, Mar 09, 2017

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that Florida has the most motorcycle crash fatalities in the nation. 

In 2015, there were 606 motorcycle crash fatalities and 9.045 injury related crashes in the state. From 2014 to 2015, fatalities rose 30%. 

The top counties for motorcycle crash deaths: 

1. Miami-Dade - 67 deaths
2. Hillsborough - 48 deaths
3. Broward - 42 deaths
4. Palm Beach - 34 deaths
5. Pinellas - 27 deaths

Pasco County tied for 9th with 22 deaths and Polk tied for 11th with 21 deaths. 

The majority of motorcyclists (83%) claim to wear a helmet while on their motorcycle. However, only 47% of Florida motorcyclists were actually seen wearing a helmet according to an obervable helmet report. 

Even worse, 15% of motorcyclists do not have insurance. The average cost for a motorcyclist involved in a traffic crash, who was then admitted to the hospital, was $83,676. 

72% of motorcyclists believe they should be required to wear a helmet when riding. 

Safety Tips for Motorists:

  • Respect motorcycle riders. Motorcycles are vehicles too and have the same privileges as an automobile. Be sure to give them ample room.
  • Look and Listen. Even if a motorcycle is loud, you may not hear it. Actively look for motorcycles in traffic.
  • Leave room. Leave plenty of room between your vehicle and motorcyclists. Uneven terrain, wet roads, and heavy traffic often require a motorcycle rider to react and maneuver differently than automobiles.
  • Be aware. Take extra caution when making a left-hand turn, because most automobile-versus-motorcycle crashes occur during left-hand turns.
  • Don't drive distracted. A driver who takes their eyes off the road for two seconds doubles their risk of getting into a crash.

Safety Tips for Motorcyclists:

  • Wear safety gear. Helmets that meet DOT compliance standards, eye wear, closed-toe footwear and protective clothing reduce your risk of injury or death in a crash. Remember, the only thing between you and the ground is your protective gear.
  • Be visible. Keep headlights, marker and taillights on at dusk and dark, or rainy weather. Wear bright clothing or put reflective strips on your bike to be more visible to other motorists. Avoid being in the blind spots of cars and trucks by following three to four seconds behind the vehicle in front of you.
  • Use sound judgment. Avoid weaving between lanes while riding. Be sure to use your signals and stick to the speed limit.
  • Get proper training. Completing a motorcycle safety course can not only make you a better rider, but save you money on your motorcycle insurance.