There are motorcycle crashes in the United States every day, and unfortunately, many of them end in at least one fatality. Because of the open nature of motorcycles, there is far less protection for riders in the case of a collision. From 2016-2020, there were 25,642 motorcycle accidents in America. In fact, almost 15% of all fatal crashes involved a motorcycle.
Based on a data analysis by the motorcycle accident lawyers at Bendinelli Law Firm, let’s examine which roads are the most dangerous, and why that might be.
Most Dangerous Roads For Motorcyclists
Of the top five roads for deadly motorcycle accidents in the United States, the top four are in Florida, with the fifth being in California:
1. US-1 Florida (141 Deaths)
2. US-41 Florida (99 Deaths)
3. US-19 Florida (80 Deaths)
4. I-95 Florida (64 Deaths)
5. I-5 California (54 Deaths)
Distracted driving is one potential cause of these accidents, but there are other reasons they may occur more often in Florida and California. Both of those states are popular for motorcycle riders, due to the long stretches of road they have. Many roads in Florida and California are along the coast, and have beautiful scenery that draws in motorcycle riders from around the country.
Distractions on Florida Roads
While distractions aren’t the only cause of motorcycle accidents, it is a very common reason for collisions. Florida is the second worst state for distracted driving accidents, as of 2017.
One reason that distractions could be higher on Florida roads is due to all of the tourists and sightseers. Riders from out of town may get distracted by their GPS when trying to find their way, or may be looking at sights along the road.
Until a bill passed in 2019, Florida did not restrict using handheld communication devices while driving. Additionally, texting while driving was only a secondary offense. That means that police could not pull over a driver they saw texting unless that driver broke another law, such as speeding. Since most of the data above is from before this new statute, some of those fatal accidents could have been caused by handheld devices.
As of July 2019, however, the Wireless Communications While Driving Law was introduced. Drivers in Florida are now prohibited from talking on handheld cell phones in school and work zones, and texting while driving is now a primary offense.
How Do Distractions Cause Motorcycle Accidents?
Distracted driving is a common cause of motorcycle accidents, whether it’s a driver or the motorcyclist getting distracted. Motorcyclists can get distracted by a device such as a GPS or phone, and might not see a vehicle stopped ahead in front of them. Cognitive distractions can also occur, meaning that the motorcyclists’ mind wanders and they lessen their focus on the road.
Many motorcycle accidents are also caused by a distracted car driver, according to the attorneys of Maloney & Campolo. Sometimes car drivers are only looking at the other cars or trucks on the road, and they aren’t used to scanning for smaller vehicles such as motorcycles. It’s also easy for drivers to forget to check their blind spots before turning or changing lanes, and they can miss a motorcyclist who’s on their side. Also, just like motorcyclists, car drivers can get distracted and rear end a motorcycle in front of them at a red light or stop sign.
So no matter where you are driving or riding a motorcycle, be on alert, but especially when traveling on the top 5 roads listed above.