​​​​Motorcycle fatalities appear to be on the rise in North Carolina according to recent data from the North Carolina Department of Transportation and AAA Carolinas fears 2019 could be one of the most deadly years yet.

In 2018 there were 170 motorcycle deaths in the state of North Carolina – up almost 21 percent from 141 in 2017, according to NCDOT. AAA Carolinas is urging motorists and riders to practice safety and be more cautious when sharing the road.

“While we can’t say for certain why crashes and fatalities are up for motorcyclists, we speculate it could be a result of more distraction behind the wheel, including the use of hand-held electronic devices,” said Tiffany Wright, AAA Carolinas spokesperson. “With the spring driving season just around the corner, we want to remind everyone to be extra vigilant as more motorcyclists hit the road, because even the most minor of bump-ups to a vehicle can be deadly to a motorcyclist as they are not surrounded by any protection.”

Motorists can help make roads safer for motorcyclists by taking some simple precautions:

One of the most common reasons drivers give for cutting off or pulling out in front of a motorcycle is that they “didn’t see it.”

Motorcyclists can prevent crashes and injuries by: