The number of motorcyclists killed in traffic crashes this year is on pace to exceed last year's total of 93.

That's according to the Wisconsin State Patrol Bureau of Transportation Safety.  Ron Thompson, manager of the Wisconsin Motorcycle Safety Program, says 75% of fatal victims were NOT wearing a helmet.

"If you won't wear it for yourself, wear it for your family and friends."

Thompson says motorcyclists should take every conceivable precaution to protect themselves, like wearing protective gear, getting proper training and licensing, beware of blind spots, don't speed, tailgate, drive aggressively, or while your tired, and watch closely for deer. Of all the deer accidents we hear about on the roadways, many of the fatalities involved motorcycles. Thompson says both the cyclist and the motorist are to blame for drunken driving accidents.

"Both motorcyclists and motorists need to not drink and ride or drink and drive."

Thompson says one reason we might be seeing more motorcycles on the road could be due to the high gas prices. More than 450,000 Wisconsin residents have motorcycle licenses or permits, and nearly 300,000 motorcycles are registered in the state.

AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report (1:37 MP3)

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