How Likely Are You to Get in a Motorcycle Accident in Miami, FL?
June 10, 2022 | Sagi Shaked
It’s hard to beat the sheer excitement of flying down a Miami highway on a motorcycle. The openness of the bike and freedom of agility when weaving in and out of traffic is part of what makes motorcycles so exhilarating — but this is also why motorcycle accidents can be so dangerous.
Although bikes are a popular mode of transportation in Florida’s largest city and the state overall, they’re also deadly. In fact, Florida leads the nation in motorcycle accident deaths, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Motorcycle Accident Risks
Motorcycles offer less protection than passenger cars or trucks, even if the driver is wearing a helmet. Car drivers have a layer of metal and protective airbags between themselves and another vehicle. In contrast, motorcycle riders have nothing between themselves and the road except a layer of clothing.
The impact of a car on a biker can be catastrophic, so understanding more about your risks of being in a bike accident in Miami is essential.
Facts About Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycles make up just 3% of registered vehicles in the U.S. and just 0.6% of miles traveled in the country. However, motorcycles accounted for 14% of all traffic fatalities in 2020, plus 18% of total passenger fatalities and 4% of passenger injuries in that year.
Motorcycle accident fatalities increased 22% from 2019 to 2020. Alcohol impairment is the main factor in motorcycle accidents, as impaired driving was more commonly associated with motorcycle crashes than with accidents that involved passenger cars, trucks, and light trucks.
Motorcycle Collisions and Fatalities in Florida
In Florida, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) reported that out of over 8,000 Florida motorcycle accidents in 2021, nearly 600 people died. Beyond that, over 7,000 motorcycle drivers and their passengers suffered serious injuries after a crash.
The FLHSMV also offers the following preliminary statistics about motorcycle accidents in Miami-Dade County:
- In 2021, there were just over 1,000 motorcycle accidents in Miami-Dade County
- Out of 1,010 motorcycle crashes, there were 55 fatalities and 760 injuries
- The number of motorcycle fatalities rose from 52 in 2020 to 55 in 2021
- January had the highest number of reported motorcycle accidents in Miami-Dade County, with 105
Florida’s repeal of the universal helmet law may be contributing to increased motorcycle accident fatalities.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Florida motorcycle accident fatalities increased more than 55% after the state repealed the helmet mandate. Furthermore, accident-related hospitalizations increased by more than 40%.
What Are Some Common Causes of Miami Motorcycle Accidents?
Motorcycles have a smaller profile on the road than other types of vehicles, making it harder for drivers to see them, especially if the bike is in their blind spot. They’re also more vulnerable to crashes due to poor road conditions, like cracks and potholes, because their vehicles are inherently less stable than four-wheeled vehicles.
The year-round warm weather in Miami also contributes to a higher number of motorcycle accidents than in, say, Chicago or Detroit. Drivers operate them year-round, which means a higher risk of a wreck.
The most dangerous time for a motorcycle driver to wreck is in their first year of riding, which is why it’s essential to take motorcycle training courses that teach defensive driving as well as what to do during a crash and how to lay down the bike to reduce injury.
Even though it’s not required in Florida, wearing a helmet can also help prevent a fatal Miami motorcycle accident.