JACKSONVILLE, Florida – Two motorcyclists died after two separate crashes on the Westside of Jacksonville.
There have been 41 fatal motorcycle crashes so far this year, double the amount from around the same time last year, 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 sidewalk. He was not wearing a helmet.
Michael Dobbs, owner of Jacksonville Motorcycle Safety Training, said the majority of crashes happen when riders don’t know how to brake.
“In a car, you put your foot on the brake and that stops all four tires, but on a motorcycle, you have a front brake and a rear brake, and you have to know how to stop both at the same time. said Dobbs.
Dobbs said that another big reason accidents happen is that some motorcyclists don’t pay attention to the traffic around them.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a 23-year-old man was killed in an accident on Boulevard de Normandie.
A van driver was trying to turn left onto Normandy Boulevard and had a green arrow. Authorities said the motorcyclist was coming from the opposite direction and did not stop at a red light and hit 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 injured.
Dobbs said motorcycles can be fun, but people need to understand that it’s a dangerous hobby, too.
“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 your skills.”
Dobbs said a full face helmet, gloves and good riding shoes are recommended on a motorcycle. He said that a helmet is the most important part.
“We have so many students coming back and they’ve had accidents, and they bring their helmets that’s all scratched up and they say, ‘Thanks for telling me to wear it,’ Dobbs said.
Dobbs said if you own a motorcycle you should learn to ride one.
“A lot of the wrecks I worked on when I was in law enforcement were self-taught people,” Dobbs said.
Dobbs said to always pay attention to your surroundings when riding a motorcycle, and if you plan on riding a motorcycle, practice properly first.
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