Ranking the worst states for bicycle and motorcycle fatal crashes

Whether you’re riding a bicycle or motorcycle, or driving a car, we’re all keenly aware of how dangerous it can be to share the road. Anidjar & Levine is a personal injury law firm in Florida that handles car crashes, motorcycle accidents, and bicycle accidents. The firm went through National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data on fatal crashes between cars, motorcycles, and bicycles occurring between 2017 and 2021, the aim to figure out which states posed the greatest potential threat to those on two wheels. The data showed 30,843 such rider fatalities in the U.S. over those five years — 17.4% of all fatalities involving a vehicle over the same timespan.

Broken out by state, California beat all for the overall number of crashes between cars and bicycle riders or motorcycle riders, followed by Texas. This isn’t a surprise, California and Texas being the nation’s two most popular states. But California’s 3,423 such crashes were 18.9% of its total fatal vehicular crashes, putting it 12th on the list when ranked as a percentage. Texas’ 2,656 such crashes weren’t just a dramatically lower number, they composed only 15.1% of the states fatal vehicular crashes, putting the state 35th on the list when ranked by percentage.

Hawaii topped the list. Although the islands saw just 151 fatal incidents with bikes in five years, when compared to 483 fatal crashes overall, that equals 31.3%. Florida, the nation’s third-most-populous state, posts gaudy numbers in taking the No. 2 slot. Its 3,797 fatal crashes between cars and motorcycles and cars and bikes in five years is more than any other state. Lined up against the state’s 15,342 overall fatal vehicular crashes — second-most after California — Florida’s percentage comes to 24.8%. 

If you ride anything on two wheels, have a look at the chart below. And perhaps think about planning a spring tour to Alabama or Mississippi. Alabama’s 446 crashes were just 10.29% of its total, but according to the data dump, Mississippi can claim to be the state where fewer than one in 10 fatal road incidents involved a powered or a pedaled two-wheeler.

Fatal bicycle and motorcycle accidents by state:

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