4 motorcyclists die in 36 hours on Jacksonville roads

2018 bike season off to deadly start

By Crystal Moyer - Traffic/reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Four motorcyclists lost their lives on Jacksonville's roads between Saturday night and dawn Monday. While all four crashes are under investigation by traffic homicide detectives, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said it appears that none of the motorcyclists were at fault.

Last year, Florida ranked highest in the nation for deadly motorcycle crashes, and with warming weather and Daytona Bike Week coming, it's an ominous start to the year.

"Every time it pops up on my news feed, it's just heart-wrenching," Curtis Gill said of the motorcycle fatalities.

Gill not only rides, but spends his days at his motorcycle shop, 904 Performance, fixing motorcycles. Many of those bikes were involved in crashes.

"I tell (riders) all the same thing: You've got to ride like no one sees you," Gill said. "You've got to be 10 times more aware of what's going around you."

Gill wants riders and drivers to go the extra mile to prevent deadly wrecks.

"Before hopping on the bike, there are a few safety tips every rider should follow, like wearing bright and reflective clothing and a helmet. There's also extra accessories you can add to your bike to enhance safety," Gil said.

Among those accessories are LED or HID headlights, which are much brighter than factory lights and make a motorcycle more visible during the day. There are also LED taillights and protective clothing that can protect the rider's body in a crash.

Gill said one of his customers lived to see another day, "because he was ready for the ride and ready for the slide."

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has safety advice for riders and drivers.

Riders

  • Stick to the speed limit
  • Avoid weaving between lanes
 

Drivers

  • Give motorcyclists extra space on the road
  • Eliminate distractions
  • Check blind spots

 

Gill also recommends motorcycle training courses. Not only will lessons help you become a better rider, they will also save you money on motorcycle insurance.

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