JACKSON (WILX)-- As summer approaches and the temperatures rise thousands of registered motorcycles in Michigan will emerge from their garages.
In 2012 motorcycle fatalities went up 18 % according to the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning. Last years high fatality rate is why some local bikers are urging those on the road to take extra precautions this year. They're using Motorcycle Awareness Month to get the word out.
"Safety is the number one concern. We want to see our families and live the next day," said motorcyclist Chris Yeloushan.
In 2012 Michigan had 129 motorcycle fatalities, the most the state has had in the past 6 years.
Since Michigan got rid of its Helmet Law in April of 2012 helmet use has dropped by 25%. It's unclear if lifting the helmet law has anything to do with the increase in motorcycle fatalities. Some local bikers like Yeloushan don't want to take the risk and ask that all other riders in the state to do the same. The helmet is one of the few safety items motorcyclists can have.
"It's all about wearing the helmet," said Yeloushan.
"There's been so many crashes and accidents that people say they didn't see the motorcycle. We have to be more aware," said biker Gary Sternaman.
According to the DNV vehicles should keep at 3-4 second distance between them and a motorcyclist. Motorcyclists also need to keep watch of their surroundings, especially if they are riding alone.
"It's nice when you are riding in a group because your more visible than when you're by yourself," said Sternaman.
If you're one of the motorcyclist just taking your bike out of the garage make sure to do a check up before hitting the road.