By Tracey Leong

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Authorities are warning drivers to be aware of an increase in motorcyclists with this warmer weather.

Fatal motorcycle crashes tend to increase during the spring season.

Authorities say it’s because there are simply more motorcyclists, many of whom have been waiting all year for nice weather to ride.

Motorists are being reminded to safely share the road after two deadly motorcycle accidents just hours apart in Baltimore County on Wednesday.

The first happened on Falls Rd. at Butler Rd. at 2 p.m. Police say an 18-year-old rider struck a car when it merged in front of him.

Three hours later, police say a 20-year-old rider crashed his bike after a car turned in front of him on York Rd., near Murdock Rd.

“More riders on the road, more drivers are on the road, obviously the chance of an incident increases,” said MDOT MVA administrator Chrissy Nizer.

Motorcycle crashes typically spike when the weather warms up.

James Morris has been riding for 15 years, and he knows firsthand how dangerous it can be.

“Cars not going to feel a thing, motorcycles are going to get hurt, injured, or major injuries, because there’s no protection for us,” he said. “This is all we have our bodies against the vehicle.”

Maryland saw a 14 percent spike in motorcycle deaths from 2016 to 2017. Experts are urging both the riders and drivers to work together to prevent these accidents.

“Incumbent upon all of us to be more aware, whether we ride a motorcycle or drive a car, to be more aware, take that extra time, don’t be distracted,” Nizer said. “Driving and riding a motorcycle takes your full-time & attention.”

Morris has a warning for everyone sharing the road.

“I pay more attention to what’s going on around me more than anything else because it doesn’t take but a second for someone to pull over on you, knock you off your bike in a moment’s time,” he said.

May is also “Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month,” a campaign designed to heighten awareness and urge caution as the roads start to see more traffic.

Authorities report about 50 percent of fatal motorcycle crashes happen on Saturdays and Sundays.

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