AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Motorcyclist injuries and deaths on Texas roadways are on the rise.

“Motorcycles have every right to be on the road as a regular motor vehicle,” said Sonja Gross, TxDOT Amarillo District Public Information Officer.

According to TXDOT, in 2021, there was 2,318 serious injuries among motorcyclists in Texas, and 519 deaths.

Stats like these are one reason TxDOT is observing National Motorcycle Awareness Month in May.

“We’re sharing that road with other drivers, we’re sharing it with other road workers, we’re sharing that road with first responders, motorcyclists, bicyclists, sometimes pedestrians,” Gross said.

Locally, TxDOT told us the number of motorcycle crashes in the Amarillo District was 141, resulting in 59 serious injuries, and ten deaths.

“Motorcyclists are not as easy to see, that’s why they have their headlight on, and a lot of them have reflective gear, so we need to be extra vigilant, especially now that we have this great weather,” Gross explained.

Gross said some of the tips to keep in mind when it comes to motorcycles.

“If you’re in front of them and see them in your rearview mirror, don’t slam on your brakes, that’s not cute. When they’re trying to get around you and maneuver, let them. Share the road isn’t just a catchphrase, it is something we need to do every time we get behind the wheel of a vehicle,” she said emphatically.

Most of all, keep your focus on driving 100%, and stay aware of your surroundings.

“What’s happening on our cell phone, that’s not important. Are kids screaming in the back seat? Let them scream,” she emphasized. “Keep your eyes on the road ahead.”