Florida Motorcycle deaths

Florida Leads Nation In Motorcycle Deaths

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has compiled data on motorcycle deaths for 2013 and, for the nation overall, the data looks somewhat promising but for Florida, the news isn’t good at all.

Nationwide, there were 4,668 motorcycle deaths reported in 2013, a drop of six percent over the 4,986 killed the year before. The 88,000 motorcycle injuries also reflected a five percent drop over 2012.

In compiling the data, the NHTSA researchers found that:

  • Twenty-five percent of motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes in 2013 were riding their vehicles without valid motorcycle licenses.
  • In 2013, motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes were found to have the highest percentage of alcohol-impaired drivers than any other vehicle type (27% for motorcycles, 23% for passenger cars, 21% for light trucks, and 2% for large trucks).
  • Forty percent of motorcycle riders who died in single-vehicle crashes in 2013 were alcohol-impaired.
  • Motorcycle riders killed in traffic crashes at night were almost four times more frequently alcohol-impaired than those killed during the day.
  • In States without universal helmet laws, 59 percent of motorcyclists killed in 2013 were not wearing helmets, as compared to 8 percent in States with universal helmet laws.

In spite of the fact that California and Texas have greater populations and the number of registered motorcycles in California beats Florida by 33 percent, Florida had the highest motorcycle death rate in the nation in 2013. With a smaller population and fewer registered motorcycles, how could Florida have so many more motorcycle deaths?

Helmet use

California has a mandatory helmet law but Florida doesn’t. In Florida, a motorcycle rider over the age of 21 with $10,000 worth of liability insurance doesn’t have to wear a helmet. Texas has a law similar to Florida’s. NHTSA estimates that helmets saved 1,630 motorcyclists’ lives in 2013, and that 715 more could have been saved if all motorcyclists had worn helmets.

Alcohol use

In Florida, 34 percent of all motorcyclists killed in crashes had a BAC of .01 or higher, meaning they were impaired at the time of their death and 29 percent were legally drunk with a BAC level of .08 or higher.

States by Population

Registered Motorcycles *

Mandatory Helmet Law

Helmet Use Percent

.08 BAC

Motorcycle Deaths



















*According to Motorcycle Roads.com

Motorcyclists are already a lot more vulnerable to death and injury than those who are protected by the structure of the typical motor vehicle. Smart motorcyclists are trained on how to ride safely and know to ride sober and with all the protective gear available.

For more information, visit: NHTSA 2013 Traffic Safety Facts – Motorcycles