LAKE HAVASU CITY, Ariz. --- Like many other states, Arizona is grappling with a sharp increase in motorcycle accidents.

According to the state DMV, 2,814 people were injured in motorcycle crashes on Arizona's roadways in 2006. During that time, 155 motorcyclists were killed in Arizona. That represents a 61-percent increase from the 94 motorcycle-related fatalities reported in 2002, reported Today's News-Herald.

That number could rise as soaring fuel prices spur more drivers to travel by motorcycle. Motorcycle crashes often result because other drivers unintentionally fail to notice the smaller vehicles. Here are some tips, courtesy of Today's News Herald in Lake Havasu City, to help drivers avoid collisions with motorcycle drivers:

• Motorcycles have smaller profiles and can be difficult to spot, so always thoroughly check traffic before entering or changing lanes.

• Signal before changing lanes or merging to help motorcyclists anticipate traffic flow and find a safe lane position.

• Wait for motorcycles to complete their turn before you proceed. On some motorcycles, the turn signals are not self-canceling and sometimes riders forget to turn them off.

• Allow more following distance, at least three or four seconds, when behind a motorcycle. In dry conditions, motorcycles can stop more quickly than cars.

• Keep in mind that motorcyclists may change speed or adjust their position within a lane suddenly in reaction to conditions such as potholes, gravel, slippery surfaces, railroad crossings and grooved pavements.

• Give the motorcycle the lane area that you would give another vehicle. Although it may seem as though there is enough room in the traffic lane for an automobile and a motorcycle, a motorcycle needs the room to maneuver safely.