ABILENE, Texas -

Since 2012, there has been a 5 percent increase in traffic accidents resulting in death for motorcycle and scooter riders.

That means in 2013, 494 people died, accounting for 15 percent of traffic deaths in Texas.

As May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and because of the increase in 2013 traffic deaths, motorists are being encouraged to be vigilant on the road.

Steve Hood from Harley Davidson said it is important motorcyclists should take safety precautions because numerous distractions exist on the roads.

"They just need to assume that that car doesn't see them, that's one of the things that I always do," Hood said. "If I'm looking out and I'm driving and I see someone that doesn't look like they're paying attention to me, I don't assume that they'll yield right of way."

Motorists should also avoid sharing lanes with motorcycles and they should constantly check blind spots since motorcycles are smaller than cars.

In addition, Hood said, wearing the right equipment when riding a motorcycle could save your life in case of an accident.

"When you don't wear a helmet or you don't wear safety equipment at all, then you're stepping up on that ladder of risk a little higher, so you just need to exercise that much more caution," Hood said.

If you would like to register for classes in Abilene, click this link to the Abilene Safety Instruction website.

The motorcycle riding school is also sponsoring a motorcycle awareness food drive on May 24 at 6750 US 277 South. For more information contact Ned Maybee at (325) 669 - 0631.