Although registered motorcycles account for only about 1% of road traffic, motorcycle crashes make up a staggering 15% of the total motor vehicle fatality rate. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 5,000 people lost their lives in motorcycle accidents in 2019.
Riding can be risky if you are not careful. However, some states seem to be more dangerous than others for motorcycle riders. Read on to find out which five states have the highest motorcycle accident rate.
These States Are the Most Perilous for Motorcycle Riders
The states with the highest number of motorcycle fatalities are Southern states with a warm climate that allow bikers to be on the road more often. Motorcycle accidents typically peak around late spring and summer, when the weather is most rider-friendly.
With a rate of about 14 fatalities for 10,000 registered motorcycles, Mississippi tops the list of the most dangerous states for bikers. This number is especially staggering when you consider that Mississippi laws require all bikers and passengers to wear a safety helmet.
Like anywhere else, motorcycle crashes in Mississippi may occur because of road conditions, inclement weather, and reckless drivers. The Mississippi Office of Highway Safety emphasizes motorcycle regulations and drunk riding prevention.
The rate of motorcycle fatalities in Texas hovers around 11 per 10,000 registered motorcycles. The total number of motorcycle crashes in Texas is among the highest nationwide. Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, and El Paso are among the most dangerous places for bikers in the Lone Star State.
The state’s helmet laws may account for the soaring motorcycle fatality rates in Texas. While riders under 21 must wear helmets, riders over 21 are under no obligation to wear a helmet in Texas if they have appropriate insurance coverage.
South Carolina has proven dangerous for motorcycle riders, with fatality rates climbing to over 11 per 10,000 registered motorcycles.
As in Texas, South Carolina law does not require riders over 21 to wear a safety helmet, which may contribute to the motorcycle accident fatality rate. Additionally, South Carolina has seen a significant uptick in the number of registered riders, which statistically leads to a higher toll of motorcycle accidents.
In Florida, the motorcycle accident fatality rate reaches nearly 10 out of 10,000 registered motorcycles. With year-round warm weather, a considerable number of bikers ride through Florida roads in all seasons. Heavy traffic areas, such as the Miami-Dade and Broward counties, are especially dangerous for riders.
Like other states with frequent motorcycle fatalities, Florida does not impose a universal safety helmet requirement. Motorcyclists in Florida may ride without a helmet if they are older than 21 and have appropriate insurance coverage.
In the past few years, the number of motorcycles on Arizona roads has increased substantially, while the number of motorcycle crashes and injuries has decreased. Despite this promising data, the motorcycle fatality rate in Arizona is still high, with over 9 fatalities per 10,000 registered motorcycles. Phoenix remains one of the most dangerous cities for riders, both in Arizona and nationwide.
Arizona has some of the most lenient motorcycle helmet laws in the U.S. Riders over 18 can legally operate a motorcycle without a helmet. However, all riders in Arizona must wear protective gear such as goggles, glasses, or a face shield if the bike doesn’t have a protective windshield.
Why Motorcycle Injuries and Fatalities Happen So Often
In road accidents, motorcycles carry additional risk. Bikes are small and often difficult to see for drivers in larger vehicles. Additionally, motorcycle accidents have a higher fatality rate because there are no seat belts, airbags, and other safety devices that protect most auto drivers and passengers.
You can reduce your risk of a motorcycle injury by following these safety tips:
· Keep your bike in good condition. Make sure your motorcycle is ready for the road by checking hand and foot brakes, tire pressure, fluid levels, headlights, and other essentials before you set off.
· Always wear a helmet, regardless of your state’s regulations. Riders who wear proper motorcycle helmets are almost 70% less likely to sustain a head injury and over 40% more likely to survive a motorcycle accident.
· Ride carefully. Keep enough distance from other vehicles on the road and stay out of larger vehicles’ blind spots. Obey speed limits, traffic signs, and lane markings. Be especially careful at intersections and other high-risk spots.
· Make yourself visible. Wear bright clothing during the day and reflective gear when riding after dark.
· Stay alert. Never mount your bike under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or prescription medications that might affect your coordination or judgment. Likewise, avoid riding when you are excessively tired.
If you suffer a motorcycle accident, seek medical attention immediately. Talk to a lawyer if you believe your injury occurred because of another driver’s negligence or failure to obey traffic rules.
Law Tigers: A Tough Legal Team Fighting for American Bikers
The national motorcycle accident rate is more than just a number. It represents real people suffering from devastating physical, emotional, and financial consequences.
Law Tigers have over 30 years of experience defending the rights of injured riders and their families across the U.S. To date, we have recovered over $800 million in compensations for motorcycle injuries and wrongful deaths.
For a free case evaluation with a motorcycle attorney near you, call 1-888-863-7216 24/7. You only pay if we win your case.