Drivers cautioned with influx of motorcyclists in area

Deadly motorcycle crash on Arlington Expressway marks 5th this week

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After this week's fifth deadly crash involving a motorcycle on Sunday, officials are urging other drivers to be aware as Daytona Bike Week kicks off.

Many motorcyclists who are visiting from out of town said they know how dangerous area roads can be.

Year after year, Florida ranks as one of the deadliest states for motorcyclists in the nation.

Over the next week, hundreds of thousands of motorcyclists will be heading to Daytona Bike Week -- many traveling through the area to get there.

There’s already an influx of bikes on local roads.

Walking through historic St. Augustine this weekend, the roaring sounds of motorcycles could be heard and bikes lined up on just about every busy street could be seen.

"Just take your time," said Matthew Green, who is visiting from Delaware. "You’ve got to have us on the back of your head."

"Don’t drink and drive -- that’s the key. Period," said Bob Mitchem, who's also visiting from Delaware. "When we’re on the bikes, we don’t drink at all."

Last weekend, four motorcyclists died within a 36-hour period on area roads. Police said none of them appeared to be the motorcyclists’ fault.

"Look out for the bikes," Greene said. "Pay attention. Look out for the bikes and stay off your phones."

March is also Brain Injury Awareness month. Local doctors want to remind all drivers to be careful. 

Dr. Kenneth Ngo, a Physical Medicine And Rehabilitation specialist at Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital, says the number one cause of brain injuries in young people is through motor vehicle crashes, including motorcycles. 

Dr. Ngo's patient, Andrew Miller beat the odds. Miller had to learn how to walk again after he suffered a traumatic brain injury in a motorcycle crash last November.

"When he came to the hospital, he was not responsive. He was not breathing on his own," said Dr. Ngo. "He had to have a machine to help him breathe. His injury was very severe."

Making great strides since the accident, the 24-year-old recently participated in the Brooks Rehabilitation Challenge Mile as part of the Gate River Run. 

"It was tough, it was a struggle," said Miller. "But I'm determined to get back to everyday life."

Doctors who work with Andrew want to remind all drivers, when in a car, wear a seatbelt. When riding a motorcycle, always wear a helmet.

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