The official and final statistics for 2016 are still being computed by the several agencies charged with the unenviable task of sifting through Department of Transportation statistics, police reports and Federal Highway Administration data. Accompanying the ever increasing nationwide death toll from traffic-related accidents was an overall three percent rise nationwide in total vehicle miles driven.

Statistics from 2015

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Highway Loss Data Institute's latest published findings are for 2015. According to the above sources, motorcyclists with a machine whose engine size is 1001-1400 ccs have less fatal accidents than their counterparts with lighter or heavier engines.

Most motorcycle fatalities occur during the warmer months of May, June, July, August, and September, and the smallest amount of such recorded tragedies happened in February.

Location-wise the greatest amount of motorcycle-related deaths were on non-interstate major roads. The 1798 deaths in single-vehicle motorcycle accidents show not only how easy it is to lose one's focus on the road but also that 42 percent of those incidents involved alcohol.

Although its latest officially released report is also for 2015, when it comes to deadly motorcycle crashes the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration declared Florida to be the nation's worst case scenario. Nationwide it was reported that the fatality rate is six times greater for motorcyclists than it is for passengers in an automobile.

AAA has determined that one of five fatal accidents upon the State of Florida's roads involved a motorcycle. Nearly a third of motorcycling Floridians polled railed against any law requiring them to don a helmet. That force of numbers won out in repealing a stricter helmet law. Unfortunately the large increase of motorcycle fatalities since that repeal indicates that motorcyclists appear to be in error upon that point.

Motorcyclists should be especially careful in Hillsborough County, where the death toll in accidents involving the vehicle of their choice continues to mount. It has been documented in many of the studies cited that a large percentage of lives lost from such calamities could have been saved had those involved simply worn motorcycle helmets.

NHTSA's summary report from January 2017

The report states that traffic fatalities from all conveyances continued their rise as well. The report is a brief statistical study for the first nine months of 2016 that showed that deaths in all fifty states from car accidents of one form or another increased almost eight percent to well over twenty-seven thousand (of which numbers from the Florida region accounted for over fifteen percent).

No matter how you crunch the numbers, too many lives continue to be lost on the highways and byways of The Sunshine State.

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