Florida’s growing population and popularity with motorcycle enthusiasts makes motorcycle safety an important issue. The number of motorcycle crashes, fatalities, and injuries in the United States has increased in recent years, and Florida has shown the same trend.
Motorcycle Crash Trends in Florida (PowerPoint)
Presented on December 2, 2010
Chanyoung Lee, Ph.D., PTP
Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR)
University of South Florida
Motorcycle Crashes, Fatalities, and Injuries in Florida
The number of motorcycle crashes and injuries nearly doubled between 2000 and 2008.
Florida Motorcycle Crashes and Injuries, 2000 to 2010
From 2008 to 2010, the data reflects a 22.2% reduction in crashes and a 21.5% reduction in injuries. The implementation of Florida’s Motorcycle Safety Coalition and the new rider training requirements that were put into place in July 2008 significantly contributed to this decrease.
Florida Motorcycle Fatalities, 2000 to 2010
In 2000, motorcycle fatalities accounted for about eight percent of all traffic fatalities in the State, but by 2008 the percentage had increased to 17.8 percent. In 2010, motorcycle fatalities dropped, and accounted for 14.3% of all traffic fatalities.
Motorcycle Crash Factors
Below are a number of factors that uniquely contribute to motorcycle crashes in Florida.
|Motorcyclists Injured in Crashes by Age and Gender*|
*These numbers correspond to 2010 motorcycle crash injuries by age and gender.
- More motorcyclists aged 45-54 were injured in motorcycle traffic crashes in Florida than any other age group in 2010.
- In 2010, more riders age 45-54 were fatally injured in motorcycle traffic crashes in Florida than any other age group, followed by riders age 25-34.
- The median age of fatally injured riders was 42 years old in 2010.
Motorcyclist Traffic Fatalities in Florida by Age
and Year 2007 to 2010
Note: This does not include
motorcycle passenger fatality details.
Table showing Florida Motorcycle Traffic Fatalities in Florida by Age and Year, 2007 to 2010.
- Florida is a popular tourist destination and host to a number of motorcycle enthusiast events.
- 94 percent of motorcyclists fatally injured in Florida were also Florida residents (2010).
- Miami-Dade, Pinellas, Volusia, Hillsborough, Palm Beach, Broward, Duval, Orange, Pasco, and Brevard counties accounted for the largest number of motorcycle fatalities respectively in 2010.
- Factors such as population and proximity to motorcycle rallies play a role in determining the number of motorcycle crashes and fatalities.
Registrations and Endorsements
- In 2008, registered motorcycles accounted for just over 4% of Florida's motoring public.
- In 2009, there were 590,735 registered motorcycles.
- In 2011, licensed motorcyclists accounted for only about 7% of Florida’s motoring public. Yet in 2010, motorcyclists and their passengers represented 14.3% of all fatalities on Florida’s roadways.
- In 2011, helmet use in Florida was observed at 49.3 percent.
- Since the repeal of the helmet law in 2000, the number of fatal crashes for every 10,000 registered motorcycles increased by 21 percent, suggesting motorcyclists without helmets are more likely to suffer serious and fatal injuries.
- 37 percent of motorcyclists were not wearing a safety helmet before a fatal crash during 2010.
- 29 percent of motorcyclist fatalities were related to traumatic brain injuries between 2007 and 2010.
- 27 percent of fatal motorcycle crashes in 2005 involved alcohol.
- 20 percent of fatal motorcycle crashes in 2006 involved alcohol.
- 41 percent of fatal motorcycle crashes in 2008 involved alcohol.
37 percent of fatal motorcycle crashes in 2009 involved alcohol.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) National Center for Statistics and Analysis:
- In Florida in 2009, impaired motorcyclists with a BAC of .08+ accounted for 31% of motorcycle fatalities, while impaired motorcyclists with a BAC of .01+ accounted for 37% of motorcycle fatalities.
Nationally, in fatal crashes in 2008 a higher percentage of motorcycle riders had blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 grams per deciliter (g/dL) or higher than any other type of motor vehicle driver. The percentages for vehicle riders involved in fatal crashes were 28 percent for motorcycles, 23 percent for passenger cars, 23 percent for light trucks, and 2 percent for large trucks.
In 2010, the percentage with BAC .08 g/dL or above was highest for fatally injured motorcycle riders among the 21-24 (34%) age group followed by 25-34 (30%) age group.
Studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the states of Florida and Kentucky, and in Australia ("Quick tips: The Importance of Riding Unimpaired by Alcohol or Other Drugs." PDF) Motorcycle Safety Foundation, 2006.) indicate the following:
- Having any alcohol in one’s body increases the chance of crashing by five times.
- Having a BAC greater than 0.05 percent increases the risk of crashing about 40-fold.
- One-fourth of all fatal alcohol-related motorcycle crashes involve motorcyclists running off the road, overturning, or falling from the motorcycle rather than striking another object.
- Effects of Alcohol on Motorcycle Riding Skills (PDF)
- Methodology for Determining Motorcycle Operator Crash Risk and Alcohol Impairment
Impaired Motorcycle Operation - Riders Helping Riders
Time of Year and Day of Week
- 31 percent of fatal motorcycle crashes occurred during the months of March, April, and May.
- Approximately 50 percent of fatal crashes occur on weekends.
|Straight - Level||338||370||388||361||198|
|Straight - Upgrade/Downgrade||41||41||37||38||13|
|Curve - Level||67||82||89||106||61|
|Curve - Upgrade/Downgrade||32||48||37||43||22|
|% Roadway Curves||14%||15%||16%||19%||21%|
- Approximately 10 percent of fatal crashes from 2005 to 2007 involved roadway curves.
- Passing or overtaking a vehicle and changing lanes or merging each accounted for three percent of fatalities.
Body Region and Nature of Injury
- Information from death certificates issued in 2010 show that 29 percent of motorcycle traffic fatalities were associated with a traumatic brain injury, 35 percent with injuries to multiple body regions, 30 percent with injuries to unspecified body regions, and 9 percent with injuries to the thorax.
- Unfortunately, death certificates provide limited information about the nature of injuries; therefore, nearly 100 percent of certificates cited at least one unspecified injury as an immediate or contributing cause of death.
- For nonfatal injuries among motorcycle riders that required hospitalization from 2007 to 2009, injuries to the lower extremities were responsible for the highest percentage of hospitalizations at 35 percent, followed by traumatic brain injuries and torso injuries each at 20 percent.
- The two most common types of principal injuries sustained in nonfatal motorcycle crashes requiring hospitalization were fractures (67 percent) and injuries to internal organs (23 percent).
- Upper extremity and lower extremity injuries account for over half of the injuries for motorcycle riders treated in emergency departments from 2007 and 2009.
- Superficial wounds and fractures together account for over half of injuries to motorcycle riders treated in emergency departments from 2007 and 2009.
Injury and Hospitalization Data
Motorcycle Traffic Crash Injuries in Florida, 2007-2010
Motorcycle traffic crashes often result in fatal or serious injuries requiring inpatient or outpatient hospital care and treatment. Fatal injuries, though the most severe, account for only a small portion of the overall injury burden among motorcyclists. In fact, nearly seven times more nonfatal injury hospitalizations and over 20 times more emergency department visits occurred for nonfatal injuries during the three year period from 2007 to 2009.
- In 2010, the median hospital charge for motorcyclists admitted to a Florida hospital for the treatment of traffic crash injuries was $55,748.
- In 2010, the median hospital charge for motorcyclists treated and released from a Florida emergency department for the treatment of traffic crash injuries was $3,101.
The total hospital charges for the initial treatment of motorcyclists injured in traffic crashes in 2010 was $348,138,344.
- In 2010, 51 percent of motorcyclist hospitalizations and emergency
department visits were not covered by commercial insurance.