EL PASO, TX (KTSM) – As May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, state officials are asking motorists to redouble their efforts to keep themselves and motorcyclists safe.

As the weather gets warmer, more motorcyclists are heading out to enjoy the open roads. So, it’s important for drivers to remain alert and look out for those people driving motorcycles.

TxDOT spokesperson Jennifer Wright says 2021 had a seven percent increase in deaths from people riding motorcycles over 2020.

While fairly obvious, it bears repeating that riders face a much bigger safety risk than drivers or cars and trucks because motorcycles do not offer the same protection as motor vehicles do.

“Motorcycles just don’t offer the same protection that motor vehicles do. Motorcycle riders are far more vulnerable. People just don’t see them,” Wright said.

Wright says one third of fatalities happen at intersections because many drivers are not often seeing the motorcyclist coming.

Joe Castillo, owner of RGS Performance Motorcycles, says both his business and the motorcyclist community is booming.

“There’s a lot more riders now than there were even 10 to 15 years ago. El Paso has a great motorcycle riding community,” Castillo said.

Castillo says the best way for riders to learn more about safety is through a motorcycle safety class, which is offered by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.

“The biggest thing that a rider can do to help themselves is to take the safety class. I think that will help riders really make more aware of what’s going on, get used to their motorcycles. For drivers the biggest thing is to make sure you’re checking your mirrors… checking before you change lanes… sometimes they say a motorcycle will take up less space so you might not see it right away.”

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