New data shows Florida among highest motorcycle death rates nationwide

Published: August 4, 2022 10:49 PM EDT
Updated: August 5, 2022 7:25 AM EDT

New data shows Florida has the fourth-highest motorcycle death rate nationwide, and 600 motorcyclists died here in 2020.

Southwest Florida riders are speaking up and it’s understandable given that Florida had the highest number of motorcycle-related deaths in 2020. Riders say if drivers were more focused, there would be fewer fatalities in Florida.

Florida, while known for sunshine and beaches, is also among the most dangerous places for motorcyclists.

“People just don’t see motorcycles,” Brooke Lefkow said.

“Do we feel safe?” said Lynn Corr. “No.”

New data from QuoteWizard says 600 motorcycle fatalities took place on Florida roadways in 2020. Motorcyclists say their friends and family are dying because drivers are not paying attention to the road.

“We have a lot of friends that we’ve lost because of drivers not paying attention,” Corr said.

Corr is a member of Abate Florida, a nonprofit advocacy group for motorcyclists and their rights. Corr believes there are a lot of reasons why so many people are dying in motorcycle-related incidents.

“It happens, people get hit, but if we were more aware, maybe we could save one life, you know? One life is important,” Corr said.

Safety and awareness are two things Brooke Lefkow teaches. He owns Naples Motorcycle Riding School, educating new riders. However, Lefkow said that the death numbers don’t surprise him.

“I have many students who have successfully completed this class who are no longer with us,” Lefkow said. He went on to say that if everyone drove with a motorcyclist mentality, we might be safer.

“They need to drive their car and truck like the way you would ride a motorcycle, which is just being aware of what is happening around you,” Lefkow said.

“I would say to the drivers, ‘Be more aware,’ and I would say to the motorcyclists, ‘Be more prepared,'” Lefkow said.

Both Lefkow and Corr say the influx of people during certain seasons may account for some of the numbers. Also, Florida does not require helmets for some riders: If you are 21 and have proper insurance, wearing a helmet isn’t required.