ODESSA, TX (KWES) - Motorcycles are less stable and less visible than cars and with this month being motorcycle awareness month, TxDOT is urging drivers to share the roads to help curb the statewide increase in motorcycle fatalities.
The summer months have the highest incidents of motorcycle crashes.
Riders are also more exposed and can be easily overlooked on the road because of their size making them extremely vulnerable on the road.
"We try to remind people that they need to watch out for motorcycles because its really hard to judge how fast a motorcycle is going. If a motorcycle is involved in a crash they are 5 times more likely to be killed than someone in a car," Gene Powell, Public Information for the Odessa District of TxDOT said.
54 percent of fatal motorcycle crashes result from a collision with a car or a truck and collisions with a motorcycle commonly occur at intersections and while changing lanes.
All drivers should use extra caution especially during these type of situations.
"A lot of open roads in Texas, you can take long rides and so we're seeing unfortunately more crashes, fatal crashes went up 6 percent last year in Texas,"
Powell said. "We had 493 people die in motorcycle crashes last year and we don't want that to happen because we all have friends that ride cycles and we don't want anyone to have to go through that kind of pain."
In 2000 there were less than 180,000 registered motorcyclists and now that number is close to half a million.
Anyone under the age of 21 is required to wear a helmet, but those over 21 are not required by law.
But Powell said TxDOT strongly encourages wearing helmets to help with the number of fatalities and injuries.