According to data from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), serious and fatal motorcycle crashes have become much more common in recent years. While motorcycle accidents accounted for 8.2 percent of traffic-related deaths in 2001, according to the most-recent data available, this number now stands at 18.0 percent.
Other data reported in FDOT’s Florida Motorcycle Strategic Safety Plan shed additional light on the increasing risks facing motorcycle riders in Florida. The following are some of the most-notable statistics relating to the causes and effects of collisions between motorcycles and other vehicles:
1. Motorcycle Accident Fatalities are Rising While Overall Traffic Deaths are Falling
From 2011 through 2014 (the most-recent year for which data is available), Florida saw an average of roughly 450 motorcycle accident fatalities per year. While this is down from the peak of roughly 550 fatalities in 2006, it is far more than the approximately 250 motorcycle-related deaths in Florida in 2001. Additionally, while the number of motorcycle accident fatalities has risen significantly over the past 15 years, the total number of traffic-related deaths has declined.
2. Florida’s Rate of Fatal Motorcycle Accidents is Higher than the National Average
While Florida had an average number of fatal motorcycle accidents in 2001, its rate of fatal motorcycle accidents has been higher than the national average each year since 2002. Although fatal motorcycle accident rates have leveled out over the past few years in Florida and on a nationwide scale, Florida has leveled out at a higher rate than the national average.
3. The Financial Costs of Non-Fatal Motorcycle Accidents are Substantial
According to data from the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, in 2014, “the median hospital charge for motorcyclists treated and released from a Florida [emergency room] for traffic crash injuries was $4,702, and the median hospital charge for motorcyclists admitted to a Florida hospital for treatment of traffic crash injuries was $77,529.” Only slightly more than half (54 percent) of these costs were covered by commercial insurance, while 17 percent were categorized as “self pay/underinsured.”
4. Riders Ages 15 to 34 are Most Likely to Be Involved in Motorcycle Accidents, But Age is Not the Only Factor
Riders between the ages of 15 and 34 account for more than 40 percent of all riders injured and killed in motorcycle accidents in Florida. However, the average age of fatally-injured riders is 40. Additionally, as noted by FDOT, age is far from the only factor involved in determining a rider’s risk of serious or fatal injury:
“As it is well known that the causes of motorcycle crashes cannot be attributed to any single source and are the result of combination of elements, comprehensive safety approaches and campaigns are needed to address the many different contributing causes.”
5. Brain and Leg Injuries are Equally Common in Non-Fatal Accidents
Among motorcycle accidents resulting in hospitalizations, injuries to the torso (i.e. broken ribs) were the most common cause of hospitalization at 27 percent. Injuries to the lower extremities and traumatic brain injuries each account for approximately 20 percent of all motorcycle accident-related hospitalizations. However, bone fractures are by far the most-common injury (60.5 percent), with internal organ damage accounting for the bulk of the remaining hospitalizations (27.5 percent).
Speak With a Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Fort Walton, FL
If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in a motorcycle accident, it is important that you speak with an attorney about asserting your legal rights. To discuss your case in a free and confidential consultation, we encourage you to call our Fort Walton, FL law offices at (850) 682-2757 or tell us about the accident online.