In Florida, motorcycles accounted for 3.5% of registered in vehicles in 2019, but represented around 17% of the traffic fatalities. Nationwide, riding a motorcycle involves far more risk than riding in a passenger vehicle. Including passengers, close to 550 motorcycle fatalities occurred in Florida during 2021. Motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to die from a crash than motorists inside passenger cars. The passenger death rate is close to six time higher on a motorcycle than in passenger vehicle.
Motorcycle and car crashes
Aside from the substantially smaller size, motorcycles also lack the safety belts, airbags and other safety features common in many cars. The most common causes of motorcycle and car crashes alike include speeding, distracted driving and drunk driving. Altogether, these risky driving behaviors claim over 22,000 lives per year. In 2017, there were 10.05 occupant deaths per 100,000 registered vehicles, while the rate for motorcycles exceeded 59.3 deaths. Less than one person dies per million vehicle miles traveled, verses 25.5 deaths per million motorcycle miles traveled.
More on motorcycle accidents
Nationwide, more than 5100 motorcyclists were killed in motor vehicle accidents during 2017. Among these accidents, 94% of the fatalities were riders and 6% were passengers. In 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that fatal motorcycle accidents recorded the highest number of impaired driving in comparison to other vehicle types. While motorcyclists were impaired in 25% of the fatal crashes, drivers of passenger cars and light trucks in fatal accidents were impaired less than 22% of the time.
Some of the most common causes for motorcyclists include low visibility, lane splitting, colliding with fixed objects and unmarked hazards in the road. Motorcyclists are often struck because other motorists fail to see them. These collisions are more likely to occur while motorists are making a left-hand turn. In addition, a number of motorcyclists crash while riding down the centerline or in between lanes.