Whether you’re cruising on a bicycle, revving up a motorcycle, or simply driving a car, we all know how risky it can be to navigate the open road. Anidjar & Levine, a Florida-based personal injury law firm dealing with everything from car crashes to motorcycle and bicycle accidents, decided to delve into the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data on fatal crashes. The goal? Unraveling which states posed the highest risks for those embracing the thrill on two wheels. The data, spanning from 2017 to 2021, disclosed a staggering 30,843 rider fatalities in the U.S. during those five years, constituting 17.4% of all vehicle-related fatalities.
California Takes the Lead, but Hawaii Springs a Surprise
Breaking down the data by state, California emerged as the frontrunner for the overall number of crashes involving cars and cyclists or motorcyclists, closely trailed by Texas. While this may not be shocking given their status as the nation’s most populous states, the interesting twist comes when you look at the percentages. California’s 3,423 such crashes accounted for 18.9% of its total fatal vehicular crashes, earning it the 12th spot by percentage. On the other hand, Texas, with 2,656 crashes, comprised only 15.1% of the state’s fatal vehicular incidents, placing it at a more modest 35th spot by percentage.
The real curveball comes from the tranquil islands of Hawaii, snagging the top spot on the list. Despite registering only 151 fatal incidents involving bikes in five years, when compared to its total of 483 fatal crashes, this translates to a staggering 31.3%. Florida, the nation’s third-most-populous state, follows closely at the second position. With 3,797 fatal crashes involving cars, motorcycles, and bicycles over five years, it boasts the highest numbers. However, when considering its 15,342 overall fatal vehicular crashes (second only to California), Florida’s percentage stands at 24.8%.
For those of us who love the thrill of two-wheeled adventures, it might be worthwhile to glance at the chart below. Perhaps even contemplate a spring tour to the less-traveled roads of Alabama or Mississippi. While Alabama’s 446 crashes constitute just 10.29% of its total, Mississippi claims the spotlight as the state where less than one in ten fatal road incidents involves a powered or pedaled two-wheeler.