LEE COUNTY, Fla. - It's been a deadly week on Southwest Florida roads with 3 fatal motorcycle crashes in the last few days. According to Florida Highway Patrol, they're becoming more frequent. The most recent data shows a 15 percent increase in motorcycle crashes from 2010 to 2011. It's a statistic local bikers say needs to drop.
Hundreds of bikers attended the last Fort Myers Bike Night of the season. Riders gathered for a night of music, food and fun but say the recent series of fatal crashes in the area also had them thinking about safety.
"Last thing I want is to die on a motorcycle," said rider Lewis Laboy.
"We're all about motorcycle safety and every time we hear about an accident we follow up ourselves, find out what happened," said Wayne Cerra, President of the Southwest Florida chapter of ABATE, an organization dedicated to keeping drivers safe, "We're not the only ones out on the road. It's for everybody, whether you're on a bicycle a moped, skateboard, we're out there to protect your rights."
Thursday night a Punta Gorda man was killed when his motorcycle was struck by a SUV and dragged nearly three miles in an alcohol-related crash on U.S. 41.
Friday night, Florida Highway Patrol says 24-year-old Max Price died after hitting the back of another vehicle at Dayton Lane and David Boulevard in Port Charlotte. Price was thrown from his bike and taken to Peace River Medical Center where he later died.
Another motorcycle crash killed a man Friday night in Estero. Investigators say 26-year-old Anthony Krizka was speeding when he took a curve at the intersection of Estero and Ben Hill Griffin Parkways just after 11p.m. He was thrown from his bike and died a short time later at Gulf Coast Hospital.
Riders say many crashes like these could be avoided if drivers were less distracted.
"Texting and talking on the phone, that creates a lot of crashes that wouldn't have to be," said Rob Cran.
According to a study from the Florida Department of Transportation, in cases of two-vehicle crashes, automobile drivers were found to be at fault about 60 percent of the time.