What percentage of motorcycle riders get into accidents?

It’s not a secret that motorcycle riding is an exciting experience — one that, unfortunately, comes with a lot of risks. When you get your first motorcycle, you are in the most danger of enduring an accident during the first six months to a year after getting your license. 

It is important to familiarize yourself with every aspect of your vehicle and the road before confidently driving. In Florida, motorcycle riders must take a Basic Riding Course in order to obtain a license. Sadly there is sometimes no way to avoid an accident, even with extreme caution and defensive driving. Negligent drivers on the road pose risks to motorcycle occupants, even if these occupants are doing everything they can to be safe. If you’ve been injured in a collision, a motorcycle accident attorney in Florida may be able to help. 

Speaking with an attorney can not only help you feel more prepared and organized but also help relieve stress and offer peace of mind knowing someone is fighting on your side.

How Many Florida Motorcycle Operators Get Into Crashes?

A 2021 report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) shows that Florida has the second-highest number of registered motorcycles of any state in the country. Second only to California (which has 10 million more residents), Florida had a total of 620,892 registered on-road motorcycles that year. With its beautiful scenic roads and gorgeous vistas, it’s no wonder that so many in Florida opt to have the wind in their hair and nature all around them as they enjoy ride after ride.

At the same time, Florida’s roads are quite dangerous for motorcycle occupants. A 2020 report from the department of Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) shows that there were 8,045 reported crashes involving at least one motorcycle. These crashes led to a total of 517 motorcyclist fatalities, 1,747 incapacitating injuries, and 4,637 other types of injuries. There were also 35 motorcycle passengers killed that year as well as 143 passengers seriously hurt and 393 otherwise injured.

Comparing the total number of registered vehicles and the preceding statistics yields the following risk percentages for motorcycle occupants:

  • Risk of a crash: 12%
  • Risk of any injury (including to occupants): 1%
  • Risk of serious injury (including to occupants): 0.3%
  • Risk of a fatality (including to occupants): 0.008%

These numbers may not fully represent the total amount of risk associated with operating a motorcycle in the Sunshine State, but they show that a not-insignificant number of motorcycle operators and passengers face serious consequences when they are involved in a crash.

Most Common Injuries Sustained In Motorcycle Accidents

While the statistics for what percentage of motorcycle riders get into accidents involves all collisions, it is important to remember that there is a spectrum for the severity of injuries and that a nervous, skeptical driver is one of the most dangerous on the road. 

Some of the highest recorded severe level injuries treated during a motorcycle accident are:

  • Fractures and broken bones
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Muscle damage
  • Traumatic brain injury 
  • Concussion / skull fracture

Injuries can be large or small, and some of the minor injuries commonly sustained in motorcycle accidents include:

  • Road rash
  • Burns
  • Bruises

The most common type of injury seen in motorcycle accidents is Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), so it is important to remember to protect your head with a proper-fitting helmet. 

Statistics on Motorcycle Accidents in Florida

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration records that about 72 out of every 100,000 motorcycle riders will experience a crash, which is .07% of bikers. While that percentage seems small, motorcycle deaths made up for 14% of all motor vehicle crashes in 2019. Florida has the highest rate of fatalities caused by injuries sustained from a motorcycle accident in the whole country, and that danger is consistently rising. 

In 2015, Florida made up for almost 20% of motorcycle fatalities in the country. Since that time, the percentage has gone down to roughly 12%, but that could be due to the overall increase in accidents across the country. In 2015, the statistics reported roughly 4600 fatal motorcycle accidents across the U.S., and that number has jumped to 5014 in just four years. That is an increase of roughly 100 deaths from motorcycle collisions every year! 

In 2019 alone, 51% of fatal accidents in Florida involved a motorcyclist not wearing a helmet. This may be due to Florida’s lenient helmet laws that allow bikers over the age of 21 with at least $10,000 in relevant insurance to ride without a helmet. 

Regardless of leniency, wearing your helmet and eye gear along with clothing made from protective materials (such as reinforced leather) will not only keep you safer on the road, but may also prove you took measures to protect your own safety in case of an accident and in the event of a lawsuit.

Common Reasons For A Motorcycle Crash

Other vehicle drivers on the road pose serious dangers to motorcycle occupants, including the following:

Failure To Detect Motorcycle

The most common reason for a motorcycle collision is a motorist’s failure to notice an oncoming motorcycle. This type of accident makes up nearly half of all motorcycle-related crashes. Motorcycles are much smaller than cars and trucks, meaning that on a crowded highway or with ill-adjusted mirrors and a blinded view, a car may not see one coming. 

Speeding

This negligent behavior is a common cause for all kinds of motor vehicle accidents but is extremely hazardous for motorcyclists who have far less protection than a traditional vehicle. That’s not to say that a motorist speeding is safer, and by all means, is very dangerous to themselves, others, and especially bikers on the road. 

Alcohol Use

Driving under the influence remains one of the leading causes of accidents, both in passenger vehicles and for motorcycle operators. 

Lane Splitting

California is the only state in the U.S to legally permit lane-splitting. The act is prohibited to protect the safety of motorists and bikers alike. As mentioned before, sometimes cars have a hard time noticing motorcycles, and lane-splitting further limits a car’s ability to judge if there is a motorcycle coming. 

Left Turns

One of the most common scenarios is a car or truck turning left at an intersection across oncoming traffic. Often, the left-turning vehicle will fail to detect the motorcycle coming at them in the opposing lane, leading the turning vehicle to cut off the motorcycle and often creating a serious wreck.

Hazardous Road Conditions

More so than found with traditional cars, motorcyclists are extremely vulnerable to unsafe conditions on the road. While a car may not even notice slick pavement, loose gravel, or uneven asphalt, it could be an ill-fated event for a biker. 

What To Do If You’ve Been In A Motorcycle Accident 

There is a lot of information to gather and organize after an accident. Retrieving medical documents, reviewing photos and videos of the scene, determining liability, and understanding the complex rules around personal injury court in Florida. (Note that Florida is one of the few no-fault states that have strict guidelines on when a victim can sue after an accident.)

All of these factors are extremely important to remember in the aftermath of a serious accident, but after one occurs you may be overwhelmed. If you’re unsure if your case falls within Florida’s requirements to take legal action, schedule a free consultation with us. Our team works on a contingency basis, meaning after your initial consultation, you still don’t have to pay for such services until your case is settled in court. 

Dealing with the aftermath of an accident can be painfully overwhelming, but it doesn’t always have to be. There is an experienced personal injury team at Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd who are ready to guide you through the rigorous process of litigation. We focus on our clients and guide them through every step of the process on their way to recovery.

Schedule a free, no-obligation case review with one of our experienced Treasure Coast motorcycle accident lawyers when you contact us online or call today at (866) 460-1990.

Verdicts and Settlements


$1.2 Million

Auto Accident Settlement

$1.6 Million

Wrongful Death Settlement

$11.1 Million

Settlement for motorcycle accident

Locations


Ft. Pierce Office
302 South Second Street
Ft. Pierce, FL 34950
Phone: (772) 464-4600
Fax: (772) 465-4747
Port St. Lucie Office
1887 S.E. Port St. Lucie Blvd.
Port St. Lucie, FL 34952
Phone: (772) 344-7770
Fax: (772)344-3838
Okeechobee Office
1910 S Parrott Ave
Okeechobee, FL 34974
Phone: (863) 357-5800
Fax: (863) 763-2237
Vero Beach Office
2101 15th Avenue
Vero Beach, FL 32960
Phone: (772) 794-7774
Fax: (772) 794-7773
Sebastian Office
1561 US Highway 1 Sebastian, FL 32958
Phone: (772) 646-0662
Fax: (772) 646-0662