(WFXR) — According to the DMV, Virginia roadways have seen 160 bicycle-involved crashes so far this year, which resulted in the deaths of nine bicyclists and the injuries of 156 others. Compared to the four bicyclist-related fatalities that occurred last year during this time, this is a 125% increase.

In recognition of May being National Bicycle Safety Month, as the month comes to an end, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is reminding Virginian cyclists and motorists alike to be on the lookout.

“Cyclists are some of our most vulnerable road users. We all share the responsibility of keeping them safe,” said DMV Commissioner Gerald Lackey, the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “Looking out for each other is key. Be visible and predictable as a cyclist, and respect bike lanes and pass with care as a motorist.” 

The DMV shared some tips for both bicyclists and motorists to help prevent related fatalities:

For Bicyclists: 

  • Always wear a properly-fitted helmet. 
  • Check your bike equipment before heading out. 
  • Ride in the same direction as traffic. 
  • Obey traffic signs, signals, and lane markings. 
  • Wear equipment to protect you and make you more visible to others. 

For Motorists: 

  • Pass bicyclists on the road with care; allow at least three feet of clearance.  
  • Look for cyclists before opening a car door or pulling out from a parking space. 
  • Yield to bicyclists at intersections and as directed by signs and signals. 
  • Look for bicyclists before making turns, either left or right. 
  • Respect designated bicycle lanes; don’t use them for parking, passing or turning. 

 The DMV advised cyclists and drivers to practice defensive traveling, anticipating what others might do before they do it, to better avoid a potential crash.