2 Wheels

States You Should Avoid If You’re A Motorcyclist

Riding a motorcycle can be exhilarating, and even though it is one of the least practical vehicles you can possibly choose, motorcycle fans seem to exist in every state – yes, even Alaska. Motorcyclists are well aware that their choice of vehicle can be dangerous for any number of reasons. Outside of ideal weather conditions and in heavy traffic, riding a motorcycle isn’t always the safest idea, and according to the NHTSA themselves, these states have the highest fatality rates of any other.

Which states have the highest motorcycle fatalities?

At the end of last year, the NHTSA came out with data in regards to motorcycle safety, accidents, and various other related factors that were associated. This data was collected in 2017, so it isn’t the most up-to-date, but after looking at trends from previous years it is clear that there are three states that stand out as having the highest fatality rates in the country year after year.

I bet you could guess which three states have the highest motorcyclist fatalities, and if you can’t, you probably won’t be surprised to learn which ones they are. Florida, California, and Texas had hands-down the highest rate of motorcyclists fatalities of any of the states.

Motorcycles drive along the M1 motorway toward central London
A convoy of motorcycles drive along the M1 motorway toward central London | Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images

Florida had the highest number of fatalities in 2017 with a heart-dropping 550 motorcyclist who did not survive accidents. California was next with 515 motorcyclist deaths, and Texas was slightly behind with only 460. These numbers were shocking large compared to most other states, with no other state crossing even as many as 200.

Factors to consider

There are a lot of factors to take into consideration when looking at these numbers. For one, all three of the states listed above have the highest number of licensed motorcyclists overall, so it would make sense that they also have the highest number of fatalities.

These states also have warmer climate almost year round that allows motorcyclists to ride more months out of the year as opposed to northern states that receive snow or sleet several months at a time. This means that there are not only more motorcyclists on the roads, they are on the roads more often as well.

Poland, Poznan – July 5, 2005: A young man riding a motorcycle in the beginner level group, during the course of improving driving skills with a motorcycle on the race track in Poznan.

It is almost important to point out the laws surrounding owning and operating a motorcycle vary drastically between these states. Florida does not require motorcyclists over the age of 21 to wear a helmet, but splitting lanes is illegal. In California, you can split lanes in traffic even in the biggest of cities.

RELATED: The 3 Safest Motorcycle Helmet Brands

No matter what state you live in, following local laws and driving offensively is the best way to stay safe while you’re riding. Riding in a group can help increase your overall ability to be seen on the road, and while that isn’t always an option, it can improve your overall safety as well.