Florida has an abysmal record when it comes to highway safety. Our drivers, passengers, and pedestrians are in constant danger, and they die more often than residents in any other state.
That is particularly true for cyclists and pedestrians. Florida not only ranks first in the nation for pedestrian fatalities but it’s also home to all of the Top Four Deadliest Pedestrian Cities in the U.S. (Miami is #4).
We don’t fare well with motorcycles either. As the following statistics will show, The Sunshine State is a perilous place for bikers who ride a motorcycle on our public roads.
After we look at the hard facts, we’ll turn to the even more important discussion: why?
Florida Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Bikers should be able to enjoy the open road without a pronounced fear of immediate bodily harm. Unfortunately, as evidenced by these numbers, death is a real concern for anyone on a motorcycle in our state:
- Florida currently ranks at #3 in the nation for motorcycle fatalities.
- According to the Tampa Tribune, Florida motorcycle accidents increased in 14 of the last 15 years on record.
- 80% of Florida motorcycle accidents lead to a serious injury or death.
- For each mile they travel, Florida bikers’ risk of death increases by 30% more than the same risk faced by car drivers.
- 60% of Florida motorcycle accidents are the result of a driver’s negligence (and of those, it is usually the car driver — not the biker — who is at fault).
What Makes Motorcycle Accidents More Common in Florida?
There’s no easy or singular explanation that fully accounts for Florida’s out-of-control motorcycle safety situation (a status quo that mirrors the state’s shameful record with bicycles, pedestrians, and vehicles in general).
Population is a significant factor, of course. The Sunshine State welcomes many millions of tourists each year. Significant portions of them arrive here on motorcycles, rent motorcycles once they’re in town, or even come here specifically to attend a motorcycle-related event. Some of the biggest bike draws in Florida include:
- South Beach Bike Week
- Miami’s Urban Beach Week
- Daytona’s world-famous Bike Week
- The Progressive International Motorcycle Show in Miami
The economy is relevant as well. As unemployment went up in recent years, and income went down, some decided to reduce their transportation costs. Motorcycles are much less taxing on a monthly budget.
A general culture of driver negligence is undoubtedly persistent throughout our state too. That’s a sad but increasingly undeniable fact. The sooner state leaders wake up to it, the sooner we can start saving lives.
We must make a statewide effort to improve roadway conditions, foster better driver behaviors, and tend to the unique needs of the transitory tourist population that sets our state apart.
Help for Victims of Motorcycle Accidents in Florida
At Kaire & Heffernan, LLC, we fight to get accident victims and their families the compensation they deserve after a terrible motorcycle crash.
We understand how difficult these situations are, and we’re prepared to do everything we can to hold the negligent parties accountable. Let us help. Call our Miami motorcycle accident attorneys today for a free consultation of your legal rights.
Mark Kaire has been practicing law in Miami for nearly 15 years. He is dedicated to helping the injured people of Miami receive compensation. Mr. Kaire has been blogging on Miami’s legal issues for 4 years.