Madison (WKOW) -- Escalating gas prices have caused many drivers to switch from four wheels to two.
But more motorcycles and scooters on the road means more accidents and fatalities.
In fact, research shows motorcyclists are nearly 60-percent more likely than motor vehicle passengers to die in an accident.
Dr. Daniel Dent said, "over the past five years, we've seen an 80% increase in motorcycle admissions for trauma. We're also seeing more severe injuries in texas and in a lot of states in the united states because of repeal of motorcycle helmet laws."
Better gas mileage and a passion for the open road led Juan Portela to drive his motorcycle to work.
But he was involved in a serious accident when a car broadsided him.
Portela added, "on impact, I thought I had crumbled, but as it turns out from the police report, I actually flipped over the car, at which point I heard the driver of the car get out and yell right away, 'I did not even see him.'"
The accident crushed his wrist, broke his arm, elbow and five ribs.
Juan's had months of intense physical therapy, but little things are still difficult.
Portela said, "opening a door is still a little bit difficult, a door handle, opening a bottle or can of Coke."
Juan was wearing a helmet - he's convinced it's what saved his life.
He added, "if I didn't have a helmet on, I'd probably be six feet under right now."
For now, he plans to stick with driving a car and has no immediate plans for getting a new motorcycle.
AAA recommends a helmet at all times -- and motorcyclists -- take a state-approved education course.
And car drivers -- keep an eye out for motorcyclists.
There are a lot more of them on the road.