A motorcycle accident has tragically ended the life of a 56-year-old man on Wednesday. The crash occurred as a high school student exited the parking lot at Matanzas High School located in the Palm Coast, Florida area. According to the Florida Highway patrol a 17-year-old high school student driving a Chevrolet Impala pulled out of the parking lot at the school. As he exited the parking lot the teen's car T-boned the motorcycle. The motorcyclist Mark Radcliff was critically injured. He was transported to the hospital where he died as a result of injruies sustained in the crash. The teen had minor injuries. The crash is being investigated. Charges are pending. Motorcyclist deaths occurred 28% times more frequently than fatalities in other vehicles based on NHTSA crash data. As we approach May the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's annual Motorcycle Awareness campaign begins. The campaign every year they focus on motorcycle safety as a concern for motorist and motorcyclist. Motorcycle crashes involving another vehicle are frequently the result of the driver not seeing the motorcycle. Blind spots, distracted driving and just glancing too quickly are several of the reasons why drivers miss seeing motorcycles. Many of these tragic accidents could have been prevented. Parent's please take time to use this tragic lesson with your teen drivers and take a moment to reflect on how you can be the best example for your teens. We have a few tips and facts to share with drivers about Motorcycle Awareness.
"Get Up to Speed" on reducing the number of motorcycle accidents. Learn more on how to drive safely around motorcycles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists accounted for nearly 14 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2015, while motorcycles make up just 3 percent of all registered vehicles in the United States. Even the smallest momentary lapse in a motorist attention can result in the serious injury or even death of an unseen motorcyclist. That means sending a short text, opening a soft drink or glancing back to check on a child could result in a serious life changing accident. Consider the following points to reduce your risk of injuring a motorcyclist; 1. Your car has blind spots. Properly adjust your mirrors. 2. Compensate for your cars blind spots by looking twice. 3. Motorcyclist stop quickly. Keep a good distance between your vehicle and a motorcycle. 4. Because of a motorcycles size it is more difficult to see them and more difficult to judge their distance. 5. Weaving in the lane by a motorcyclist is sometimes a tactic used by motorcyclist to gain your attention and to make sure drivers notice the motorcycle next to them. 6. Don't Drive Distracted. Over half of all motorcycle crashes involve another vehicle. When the motorist is at fault the reason that the police often hear, "I just did not see the motorcycle." 7. Speed is often present in fatal accidents. Speed is often the reason the driver just didn't see the motorcyclist in front of them. Together we can reduce motorcycle fatalities. Share this with the young drivers in your life. Just this past weekend in our area serious motorcycle accidents occurred. Both Jacksonville and St Augustine roadways experienced collisions involving motorcycles and automobiles. Together we can reduce motorcycle fatalities. Share this with the young drivers in your 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.