JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Two motorcyclists are dead after two separate crashes on Jacksonville’s Westside.
There have been 41 deadly motorcycle crashes so far this year, which is double the amount from last year at this time, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said a man in his 20s was killed Friday night after crashing a stolen motorcycle on Hammond Boulevard. The man lost control and crashed into a curb. He was not wearing a helmet.
Michael Dobbs, the owner of Jacksonville Motorcycle Safety Training, said the majority of accidents happen when drivers don’t know how to brake.
“In a car, you put your foot on the brake and it stops all four tires, but on a motorcycle, you have a front brake and a rear brake, and you have to properly know how to stop both at the same time,” Dobbs said.
Dobbs said another big reason why accidents happen is because some motorcyclists aren’t paying attention to the traffic around them.
According to Florida Highway Patrol, one 23-year-old man was killed after a crash on Normandy Boulevard.
A pickup truck driver was trying to turn left onto Normandy Boulevard and had a green arrow. Officials said the motorcyclist was coming from the opposite direction and did not stop for a red light and crashed into the other driver head-on.
The motorcyclist was rushed to UF Health where he was pronounced dead, officials said. The driver of the pickup was not hurt.
Dobbs said motorcycles can be fun, but people need to realize it’s also a dangerous hobby.
“When you’re in a car, you have a seat belt, four walls around you,” Dobbs said. “On motorcycles, all you have is your safety gear and skill.”
Dobbs said a full-face helmet, gloves and good riding shoes are recommended on a motorcycle. He said a helmet is the most important item.
“We have so many students who come back and they’ve been in crashes, and they bring their helmet that’s all scratched up and they say, ‘Thank you for telling me to wear it,’” Dobbs said.
Dobbs said if you own a motorcycle, you should be trained in how to ride one.
“A lot of the wrecks I used to work at when I was in law enforcement were people who were self taught,” Dobbs said.
Dobbs said to always pay attention to your surroundings when you’re on a motorcycle, and if you’re thinking about riding a motorcycle, go through proper training first.
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