SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – A deadly start to 2021 when it comes to fatal motorcycle accidents. The number of crashes so far this year have more than doubled compared to the same time frame last year. Troopers with South Carolina’s Highway Patrol can’t pinpoint the leading cause but told 7 News, more people are on the road.

An engine roaring to life. It’s a sound Skip Strong can’t get enough of.

“Just ride and just enjoy being alive, and feeling the air and just the sound of the bike in the road,” said Upstate Motorcyclist, Skip Strong.

He has been on a motorcycle for most of his life and traveled a lot of roads.

“West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee a lot, North Carolina mountains are wonderful,” Strong said.

While he has stayed safe through all those miles, some of his friends haven’t been as fortunate.

“I’ve had friends that have gotten hurt, some pretty bad and I’ve had friends who have died,” Strong told us.

It’s deaths like those that the South Carolina Highway Patrol has been tracking since the start of the year.

“Last year-to-date, we had eight fatalities that involved motorcycles, this year we are looking at 19 right now year-to-date,” said Joel Hovis with South Carolina’s Highway Patrol.

Trooper Joel Hovis said a lot more drivers and riders are on the road right now.

Burt Worthy with Spartanburg Harley-Davidson believes that. He told us, they’ve been busy with people looking for bikes.

“It has picked up tremendously, it’s getting back to what it once was,” said Burt Worthy from Spartanburg Harley-Davidson.

That’s why troopers with South Carolina’s Highway Patrol are reminding both drivers and motorcycle riders to look twice and keep an eye out for one another.

That’s advice Strong told us, he always lives by.

“What if that car changes lanes on me? What if that car turns in front of me? What if that lawn mower blows grass out in my lane? I try to always prepare for the worst and hope for the best,” said Strong.