Motorcycle deaths on the rise

By Yvette Yeon - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - They're fast, shinny, and attractive.

"It's so much fun. Especially out in the country. You want to ride in the country ride on the curves, you want to look at all the pretty scenery," said Motorcycle Safety Instructor, Deoc Brooks.

But, it's not all about looks anymore, now a motorcycle gets you from point A to point B using less gas. What used to be a recreational hobby has in the last decade transformed to simply a more economical way of travel.

"The car I drive right now gets 19 miles a gallon, this will be a lot cheaper," said student, Kerri Magerowski.

Since 2001, the Virginia DMV recorded a 105 percent jump in motorcycle registration.

"When the price of fuel went up so high, we couldn't keep up with classes, we had waiting lists up to a month again, which is really surprising for us," said Brooks.

But even with motorcycle safety classes full, it didn't stop the number of fatal crashes from increasing...

According to the DMV, 38 motorcyclists were killed during the first six months of the year. That's a 19 percent increase from the same six months of last year. DMV also recorded 71 motorcycle deaths and about 1,506 injuries last year.

"Everyone knows when you're on a motorcycle you have no protective mechanism around you don't have fenders or bumpers, so even the slightest little bump is an injury," said Brooks.

"I have calculated the risks but it's something I can accept," said student, Lonnee Long.

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