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Why Does Florida Lead The Nation In Motorcycle Fatalities?

June 10, 2016
Colson Hicks Eidson

For 10 days every year, Florida becomes the epicenter of the motorcycling world. Daytona bike week brings motorcyclists of all types from every corner of the US, and from across the world, but our state has a dark secret when it comes to motorcyclists on our street. Florida just happens to be one of the deadliest states for motorcyclists in the entire country.

Why Does Florida Lead The Nation In Motorcycle Fatalities?

Riders have been taking to social media recently with stories of increased hostility at the Daytona festivities this year. From aggressive drivers to people paying more attention to their smartphones than the road—motorcyclists in Florida have been feeling more vulnerable. This problem has become too big to ignore, and a solution doesn’t appear to be in sight.

The US saw 4,584 motorcycle fatalities in 2014, which was a 2 percent decrease from the numbers in 2013, but Florida still dominated other states in fatalities numbers. Currently we sit at number three in the motorcycle fatalities rankings with 449 motorcyclist deaths in 2014. Only California and Texas outpaced our state in motorcyclist deaths.

What Can We Expect For 2016?

We have yet to see the statistics for 2015, but considering that accident statistics went up all over the nation, the picture isn’t too bright. In 2016, Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties have suffered almost 20 fatal motorcycle wrecks, and recently a 26-year-old Florida father was killed when a drunk driver turned in front of him at Dale Mabry Highway and Cypress Street.

For now, police and local authorities are fighting motorcycle fatalities by reminding the driving public to keep an eye out for motorcycle riders, and they are asking that more riders wear helmets and other safety gear. It is estimated that 86 percent of Florida riders wear their motorcycle helmets when they ride, but the remaining 14 percent is no small group. Officials say that 715 lives nationwide could have been saved last year if the rider had been wearing a helmet.

Want to learn more about motorcycle safety here in Florida, keep following our blog and tell us your motorcycle riding stories on Facebook and Twitter.

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