May 2023 is motorcycle safety month. In its press release package to mark this occasion, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration includes a few talking points that should give us pause:
- Motorcycle deaths accounted for 14% of all highway fatalities in 2020.
- There were 5,579 motorcycle riders killed in accidents in 2020, the highest number of fatalities since the NHTSA started tracking them in 1975.
- Motorcycle riders are 28 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to die in an accident and 4 times more likely to be injured.
- Motorcycle riders 55 and older accounted for 27% of all motorcycle fatalities.
- 41% of motorcycle riders killed in single-vehicle accidents were alcohol-impaired, and riders killed in accidents were more likely to be alcohol-impaired than any other type of motor vehicle driver.
All riders are aware that riding a motorcycle is inherently more dangerous than driving a car, and yet the number of fatalities and injuries remains high. These statistics become tragic, however, if you have been injured in a motorcycle accident or have lost a loved one. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney can help you get the compensation you need to rebuild your life.
Florida State Motorcycle Accident Statistics
The statistics noted above reflect the number of accidents across the entire United States. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles also compiles statistics, providing more current and more relevant information than the NHTSA. The statistics available from the FLHSMV reflect the following:
- 2022 - There were 9,150 motorcycle accidents, resulting in 7,861 injuries and 590 fatalities.
- 2021 - There were 8,649 motorcycle accidents, resulting in 7,397 injuries and 621 fatalities.
- 2020 - There were 8,045 motorcycle accidents, resulting in 6,920 injuries and 552 fatalities.
- 2019 - There were 8,895 motorcycle accidents, resulting in 7,719 injuries and 550 fatalities.
- 2018 - There were 9,143 motorcycle accidents, resulting in 7,849 injuries and 531 fatalities
Due to the pandemic, it is not surprising to see a drop in the number of accidents in 2020 and even 2021. However, the number of accidents, injuries, and fatalities are at their highest since 2018 - a fact that every motorcycle rider should keep in mind every time they head out on the road.
With offices in Defuniak Springs, Destin, Fort Walton, Crestview, and Niceville, we always pay attention to the statistics for Okaloosa County and Walton County. Below are the statistics for Okaloosa County:
- 2022 - 119 motorcycle accidents, resulting in 94 injuries and 5 fatalities
- 2021 - 99 motorcycle accidents, resulting in 77 injuries and 13 fatalities
- 2020 - 89 motorcycle accidents, resulting in 75 injuries and 6 fatalities
- 2019 - 118 motorcycle accidents, resulting in 97 injuries and 9 fatalities
- 2018 - 91 motorcycle accidents, resulting in 75 injuries and 4 fatalities
The total number of motorcycle accidents in Okaloosa County appears to be rising, with 20 more than the prior year. Thankfully, there were far fewer fatalities in 2022 than in 2021, which saw the highest number of fatalities since 2018.
The statistics for Walton County paint a slightly different picture:
- 2022 - 29 motorcycle accidents, resulting in 29 injuries and 2 fatalities
- 2021 - 33 motorcycle accidents, resulting in 28 injuries and 6 fatalities
- 2020 - 33 motorcycle accidents, resulting in 26 injuries and 6 fatalities
- 2019 - 36 motorcycle accidents, resulting in 34 injuries and 2 fatalities
- 2018 - 26 motorcycle accidents, resulting in 23 injuries and 2 fatalities
Walton County sees far fewer motorcycle accidents than Okaloosa County, but interestingly, the number of motorcycle accidents appears to be in decline, while the number of injuries appears to be higher than ever.
2023 Motorcycle Accident Statistics
The good news is that motorcycle accidents appear to be in decline for 2023 statewide and at the county level when compared to the number of accidents through April of 2022:
- All of Florida: 3,034 accidents, with 2,628 injuries and 161 fatalities, compared to 3,319 total accidents through April of last year
- Okaloosa County: 29 accidents, with 28 injuries and 1 fatality, compared to 44 total accidents through April of last year
- Walton County: 7 accidents, with 7 injuries and no fatalities, compared to 3 total accidents through April of last year
We will continue to monitor these statistics as the year unfolds, but in the meantime, motorcycle accident victims should contact a motorcycle accident lawyer in order to discuss whether they may be entitled to compensation.
What You Can Do to Stay Safe
Even though accidents may be declining, the fact of the matter is that riding a motorcycle is still incredibly dangerous. Here are some things that motorcycle riders can do to further reduce their chances of getting into an accident:
- Wear the proper safety gear. Even though Florida does not require helmets for riders 21 and older, a helmet is probably the most important piece of safety gear. Riders should also wear a protective jacket, long pants, gloves, and the proper eyewear.
- Be visible. Riders should also consider wearing “high viz” clothing. In addition, ride near the centerline. Make sure your headlight, brake light, tail light, and turn signals are working, and consider running your headlight even during daylight hours.
- Maintain and inspect your bike. Keep up with regular maintenance and routinely inspect your bike for things like brake issues and worn tires.
- Check the weather. Inclement weather can be very dangerous for motorcycles and consider saving your ride for another day if the forecast calls for rain or heavy winds. For longer trips, you should check the extended forecast so that you do not get caught in bad weather far away from home or shelter.
Talk to a Motorcycle Accident Attorney at Powell, Powell, & Powell
If you or a loved one have been involved in a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and other losses. At Powell, Powell, & Powell, we have decades of experience in helping injured riders get their lives back. We can review your case, assess your claim, and provide an estimate of what it may be worth. To schedule a free consultation, contact us today by calling 850-682-2757.