Our state has long been home to many enthusiastic motorcyclists as well as a major tourist destination for riders nationwide.
While Florida offers some excellent opportunities for riding, our roads continue to present some serious safety challenges for riders, as shown by recent fatal motorcycle accident statistics.
Florida Fatal Motorcycle Accident Statistics
According to the Center for Urban Transportation Research at the University of Florida, fatal motorcycle accidents accounted for 17 percent of all traffic fatalities in the state in 2011, up from 14.3 percent in 2010.
A 2013 study from the Governors Highway Safety Association found that Florida was the third leading state in the nation when it comes to motorcycle fatalities, behind just California and Texas.
During the first nine months of 2012, 287 deadly accidents took place in Florida. 318 people were killed in California motorcycle crashes over this period, while 358 people were victims of a fatal motorcycle accident in Texas.
Factors in Fatal Florida Motorcycle Accidents
Why are states like Florida responsible for so many motorcycle accident fatalities?
Traffic Safety researcher Jim Hedlund of the Governors Highway Safety Administration points out that all three leading states in his study enjoy warm weather and are relatively large geographically.
The warm weather allows motorcyclists to ride practically year round, and high gas prices may make motorcycling look like an affordable option in areas that require much driving.
At the same time, most riders are not required to wear a motorcycle helmet in Florida. Some traffic safety issues believe that this is a serious safety issue that may be responsible for many motorcycle accident injuries and fatalities in our state.