Motorcycle riding through the state of Florida is an appealing adventure with year-round sunshine and warm weather. However, an afternoon ride through the congested city streets and along busy highways in many areas throughout the state can be a harrowing experience for many motorcyclists. Florida is no stranger to motorcycle accidents; in 2019 alone Florida reported 8,864 motorcycle crashes within the state which resulted in 525 fatalities. These are sobering statistics, and Florida motorcyclists often wonder just how safe motorcycling in Florida is.
How does Florida compare to the other states in motorcycle accidents?
While Florida has held the unfortunate title and recognition as the most dangerous state for motorcyclists in the past, recent indications show a slight improvement in figures related to motorcycle accidents and fatalities. The most recent reports and comparisons show a slight decrease in fatalities as a result of motorcycle collisions within Florida. Florida currently ranks 4th as one of the worst states for motorcyclists in the country.
Why is it more dangerous to ride motorcycles in Florida?
Motorcycle riding is an inherently dangerous activity even under ideal circumstances. It is difficult to pinpoint a specific reason that contributes to higher fatalities in motorcycle collisions within Florida; however, there are some factors that might make riding motorcycles more perilous when compared to other states.
Factors that contribute to higher risks of fatalities in motorcycle accidents in Florida:
Traffic & congestion
While there are plenty of open roads throughout Florida, traveling through heavily populated areas can put motorcyclists in the middle of crowded roadways and stop-and-go traffic. The reality is that one of the biggest dangers to motorcyclists is careless driving and negligence by operators of other motor vehicles. The more drivers on the road, the higher the risk of an accident occurring.
Contrary to popular belief, it is not always sunny in Florida. With often unpredictable weather that can change in a moment’s notice, motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to the elevated risks of thunderstorms creating wet roadways and limited visibility, which can lead to serious and often fatal accidents.
Helmet law exceptions
While Florida does have a helmet law in effect, it is not mandatory for all riders, and there are exceptions allowing riders to forgo safety headgear while riding under certain circumstances. All riders under the age of 21 in Florida must wear protective headgear at all times while operating a motorcycle. However, riders over the age of 21 can purchase specific insurance coverage which in turn waives the mandatory helmet requirement.
What steps can you take to ensure a safe and enjoyable ride in south Florida?
Riding a motorcycle can still be an enjoyable and scenic experience throughout Florida’s beautiful beach towns and roadways. With some precautionary measures in place such as proper protective gear including a helmet, checking for weather updates before heading out, and choosing the best route to avoid congestion, you can ride your motorcycle as safely as possible while enjoying Florida’s landscape.