A hit-and run driver left a critically injured motorcyclist Saturday morning on Old Middleburg Road. The accident occurred on the Westside of Jacksonville. The motorcyclist was heading North on Old Middleburg Road when the driver of an SUV attempted to make a turn from Memorial Park Road onto Old Middleburg. The SUV struck the motorcycle critically injuring the rider. According to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office the driver of the SUV left the scene but now the driver has been located. The accident occurred around 7:30 a.m. The motorcyclist suffered a serious head injury. This was unfortunately not the only serious motorcycle accident in our area this weekend. According to the Governors Highway Traffic Association Florida ranked #1 in the number of motorcyclist fatalities. Please "Don't drive Distracted" "Look Twice Save A Life."
May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month- This year once again we are reminded "Look Twice Save a Life." According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles Duval County reported 27 motorcycle fatalities in 2016, St Johns County reported 2 and Clay County reported 7. Motorcycle fatalities have continued to increase every year for the last 20 years. The state of Florida reported 462 motorcycle fatalities in 2013 that number has risen to 501 in 2016. Imagine a motorcyclist is driving through an intersection when a driver making a left hand turn quickly glances no cars are blocking the lane so they continue their left hand turn colliding with the motorcyclist attempting to ride straight cross the intersection. This scenario is one of the most common situations in serious motorcycle accidents. The driver of the vehicle may be a distracted they are looking for a larger vehicle another car or SUV they fail to notice the motorcycle. Decreasing the number of motorcycle accidents will require that drivers become more conscious of their presence on our roadways. The Florida Chapter of Abate recommends that all motorcycle riders take a rider education course. Florida law requires a motorcycle endorsement on your driver's license to operate a motorcycle. In order to obtain the endorsement completion of a 15 hour basic motorcycle course is required. Florida Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles has a list of approved courses and locations on their web site.
Jacksonville and Northeast Florida motorcycle accidents are on the increase in May as we roll into "Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month" an annual campaign by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Joseph Canady of Orange Park was hit by a car on May 2, while riding his motorcycle, when a vehicle attempted to turn into the Walmart parking lot on Blanding Blvd. The driver of the car was not injured. Canady a 36 year old father of five was killed. In a separate accident on May 7th Derick Green was riding his motorcycle in the Ortega area when a vehicle made a left hand turn failing to yield to Green's motorcycle. Derick Green was only 39 years old. He died in the crash. On the same day another motorcyclist Colby Harrison was killed on Blanding Blvd. A car turned into the Harrison's path the car reported to be turning with the green arrow. May 10th a motorcycle crash in Flagler County on U.S. 1 claimed the life of 59 year old Thomas Dolan. Dolan from all accounts was following the rules of safety riding in his own lane and wearing his helmet when Peggy Puelo pulled out of a lounge and crossed the northbound lanes of U.S. 1 violating Dolan's right of way. The front of Dolan's motorcycle was struck by the Puelo's Kia. Dolan died at the scene. The youngest in this tragic list Stephanie Robinson was only 22 years old when she died in a motorcycle crash when she apparently lost control on the Buckman Bridge. According to family members Robinson was an experienced rider. The Florida Highway patrol is investigating in an attempt to determine the cause of the crash. Robinson was friends with Joseph Powell another motorcyclist that lost his life on Mother's Day just 2 days before Robinson's accident. No doubt the drivers of the cars in these accidents are grieving over that day in May when a motorcyclist died. While most of the drivers escaped without a scratch no doubt they probably play the day over in their mind they may wish they were driving slower that day, paying more attention or maybe just somewhere else at the moment the crash occurred. It is a tragedy for everyone involved. The motorcyclist that died in the crash can't replay that day. Millstone days for the loved ones and friends of the motorcyclist who lost their lives will never be the same Father's Day, Anniversaries, Birthdays ... Motorcyclists have all the same rights and privileges as any motor vehicle driver on the roadway. During Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in May - and during the rest of the year - drivers of all other vehicles and all road users are reminded to safely "share the road" with motorcyclists, and to be extra alert to help keep motorcyclists safe.
Bike Week brings thousands of motorcycles through Jacksonville this week. Daytona Beach Welcomes Bikers this weekend at "The 75th Annual Daytona Bike Week" March 4-12. Be aware "Share the Road" many of the motorcycle riders will pass through Jacksonville on their way to Daytona. Bike week at Daytona is a tradition known all over the world. This year is a grand milestone in the history of Bike Week with new events planned to mark the event the number of bikers cruising through Daytona will probably break records. The Midway a new area at 2016 Bike Week is free located at the Daytona International Speedway the area will include Vendors, Displays and Demos.