RICHMOND, Va. (WJHL) — Virginia officials are urging motorists and bicyclists to be more careful amid an increase in bicycle-involved crashes in the state.

According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, there have been 160 bicycle-involved crashes on Virginia roads so far this year. Nine cyclists have been killed compared to just four at this time last year, a 125% increase.

“Cyclists are some of our most vulnerable road users. We all share the responsibility of keeping them safe,” DMV Commissioner Gerald Lackey said in a statement. “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.”

In addition to the nine fatalities, the DMV said 156 cyclists have also been injured in crashes so far this year.

The agency shared tips for both cyclists and motorists:

Tips 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. 

Tips 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 encourages cyclists and motorists to stay alert, practice defensive driving, and anticipate others’ actions while on the road.