In 2019, Florida recorded 591 fatal motorcycle accidents. California registered 474 and the District of Columbia, three. In Florida, 91% of the victims were male. Six in ten female victims were passengers. Of those who died in motorcycle accidents, 57% did not wear helmets. This statistic was even worse in states that don’t have universal helmet laws.
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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speed is a factor in 36 percent of fatal crashes involving motorcycles. The number of fatal motorcycle crashes varies across the country. In 2007, only a few states reported fewer motorcycle accidents than others, and many states reported more crashes than other states.
The study also looked at the characteristics of single-vehicle collisions and found that 58.3 percent of motorcycle collisions involved an out-of-control vehicle. The most common types of collisions involved a head-on collision or angular/side impact. The crash location was also studied, as were weather conditions and speed limits.
Clear weather and poor visibility are major factors in motorcycle accidents, but weather conditions are not the only factors. Snow and fog can also make conditions dangerous. Rain and snow also reduce visibility, and reduce traction. Additionally, weather can influence the time of day. Motorcycle accidents are most common during the day, but nighttime driving is also a significant factor. The inability to stop quickly or steer around potential hazards is another factor that makes driving in bad weather risky.
During inclement weather, moisture can lift oil and debris from the road surface. This makes the road surface slick and dangerous. In addition to the increased risk of motorcycle collisions, inclement weather can reduce visibility for other drivers. As a result, drivers may not pay close attention to motorcycles and are more likely to be rear-ended.
There are two primary times of day when the risk of a motorcycle accident increases: during the day and evening hours. As the sun sets, visibility decreases, and fog can roll in off the ocean. Also, the temperature of the asphalt changes. When combined with other factors, these two factors can make motorcycle riding less safe.
Motorcycle fatalities peak during the evening hours. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the hours between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. on weekdays were the most dangerous times. In the morning, however, motorcycle fatalities increased by nearly 20 percent. In addition, nighttime motorcycle crashes account for about one-fifth of the total number of fatal motorcycle crashes.
The summer months are a time when thousands of motorcyclists take to the roads. This season is considered the deadliest time for motorcycle accidents, with an increased number of accidents occurring. Because motorcycles are harder to see than passenger cars, drivers need to take extra precautions when driving during these months.
According to a study published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately half of all fatal motorcycle accidents take place during the warmer months of June and July. The rest of the year, however, sees a much smaller number of motorcycle crashes. The months of December, January, and February have the lowest number of motorcycle accidents, probably because there are fewer motorcycles on the road.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), states with the highest fatal motorcycle accident rates are primarily in the southern part of the country, like Texas and Mississippi. They also tend to be more dangerous during the day and involve moving vehicles. Mississippi is the deadliest state for motorcycle riders, with four times the number of fatalities per 100,000 motorcycles registered there as the northern states. Alcohol is a major factor in motorcycle crashes, with 32% of fatalities involving alcohol. Another 26% involved someone who was legally intoxicated. And fifteen percent had blood alcohol concentrations nearly double the legal limit.
In 2017, about 60% of fatal motorcycle accidents occurred in urban areas, compared to 40% in rural areas. This is likely due to a variety of factors. For example, the volume of traffic in urban areas is usually higher than in rural areas. There are also more pedestrians and bicyclists on the road, which means that motorcyclists have to be extra cautious in urban settings. In addition, urban areas tend to have worse road conditions, including potholes, debris, and construction.