You might question whether a diamond-shaped yellow sign will make drivers keep an extra eye out for motorcyclists, but if it saves a life, who's to argue?

Insurance company Allstate has added "Watch for Motorcycles" signs at intersections in over 30 cities this year after studying which road markers may be most effective at helping prevent accidents.

One of the signs is in Baltimore, MD at the intersection of Pratt and President Streets, near the city's Inner Harbor. Baltimore is notable because in 2010, the average age of a motorcyclist killed in a traffic accident there was 37 years old, the youngest of any major city and five years below the U.S. average. Overall, almost half of U.S. motorcycle accidents occur at intersections when cars don't see or fail to yield to an oncoming bike.

Motorcycle fatalities have risen the last couple years despite total traffic deaths reaching the lowest point on record. An increase in alcohol-related crashes and untrained riders (higher gas prices got more people out of their cars) are given as the main reasons for the spike in motorcyclist deaths. You can read the complete press release below.
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Allstate Installs Permanent Warning Signs to Promote Motorcycle Safety at Dangerous Intersection in Baltimore

Baltimore one of 30+ cities to receive sign at dangerous intersection after seven motorcyclists killed in 2010

BALTIMORE, June 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In an effort to help standardize warning signs for motorcycle safety and reduce the number of motorcycle crashes at intersections in Baltimore involving other vehicles, Allstate Insurance Company recently installed motorcycle warning signs at the intersection of President and Pratt. Allstate's effort spans more than 30 U.S. cities this year and aims to create a standard sign for motorcycle awareness.

The yellow, diamond-shaped warning sign was created following two years of development, which included more than 100 temporary installations in various U.S. cities between 2010 and 2011. The signs were designed to establish a standardized warning device that can be used by any local or state agency and would be recognizable to riders and motorists across the country. Simply reading, "Watch for Motorcycles," the sign was developed by Allstate as part of its "Once is Never Enough" (ONE) program – an awareness campaign that encourages people to look twice for motorcycles at intersections. One sign, which has just been installed in Baltimore, aims to help prevent motorcycle crashes in the future.

According to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), in 2010, nearly a third of Maryland's motorcycle fatalities occurred as a result of crashes at intersections, and motorcyclists accounted for 25% of all vehicular fatalities in Baltimore. In 2010, the national average age of those killed in motorcycle crashes was 42; in Baltimore, the average age was 37 – youngest average age in the country.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 46 percent of all multi-vehicle crashes resulting in a fatality for motorcyclists occur at intersections*, often as a result of a vehicle turning left, impeding the motorcyclist's right-of-way.

"As a rider in Baltimore, being seen at intersections should always be top of mind, especially on our crowded roads," said Allstate Claims employee Mike Porter. "The addition of these motorcycle warning signs will be a great reminder to help keep everyone safe."

Through its ONE program, Allstate works with local traffic authorities – like the Baltimore City Department of Transportation – to identify dangerous intersections for riders and then donates and installs warning signs at the determined locations to increase awareness of motorcycles.

The signs have been in Baltimore at the intersection of President and Pratt – one of the most dangerous intersections for riders in Baltimore.

Now in its fourth year, Allstate's ONE program has evolved from general motorcycle awareness education, to installing temporary warning signs at dangerous intersections in more than 30 cities over the past two years, to the permanent installations of the new warning signs promoting motorcycle safety.

*The Fatality Analysis Reporting System shows 46 percent of all multi-vehicle motorcycle fatalities (5,746 out of 12,571 fatalities from 2006-2010) occurred at intersections.

About Allstate
The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) is the nation's largest publicly held personal lines insurer. Widely known through the "You're In Good Hands With Allstate®" slogan, Allstate is reinventing protection and retirement to help nearly 16 million households insure what they have today and better prepare for tomorrow. Consumers access Allstate insurance products (auto, home, life and retirement) and services through Allstate agencies, independent agencies, and Allstate exclusive financial representatives in the U.S. and Canada, as well as via www.allstate.com and 1-800 Allstate®. As part of Allstate's commitment to strengthen local communities, The Allstate Foundation, Allstate employees, agency owners and the corporation provided $28 million in 2011 to thousands of nonprofit organizations and important causes across the United States.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 47 Comments
      thedriveatfive
      • 2 Years Ago
      as useful as "baby on board"
        • 2 Years Ago
        @thedriveatfive
        [blocked]
      Ken
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sorry, adding a SIGN will do...nothing. If there are sightline issues or other problems, fixing those could help. Of course, this is assuming drivers are not texting or just don't care in the first place. I recall Top Gear UK mocking endless sights in a past episode.
        waetherman
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ken
        I have to give the benefit of the doubt to Allstate here - if this isn't just a publicity stunt to get more people on their motorcycle insurance, Allstate probably has a reason for doing this. Insurance companies are really good at one thing; analytics. And if they're putting up signs to get people's attention about motorcyclists, they've probably done the math and figured out that it actually works well enough to cover the expense of the signs.
        Nowuries
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ken
        Agreed--what a waste of money (which may mean increase in premiums to cover costs for Allstate customers)... how are the drivers going to see it when they are texting?! I recommend loud shrieking sirens....
      Polly Prissy Pants
      • 2 Years Ago
      This makes the false assumption that people read signs and change their behavior accordingly. This is no different than the "Baby On Board" fad that we went through a while back, as if putting up a sign would actually have any affect on people's behavior in any way.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Polly Prissy Pants
        [blocked]
      VTECyo
      • 2 Years Ago
      I love when private companies provide public services like this even if they're just trying to save money.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @VTECyo
        [blocked]
      Andre Neves
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sorry I hit you with my car. Between the WATCH FOR MOTORCYCLE sign, the YIELD TO PEDESTRIANS sign, and abundance of other street signs, I was a bit distracted by them and didn't notice you.
        Car Guy
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Andre Neves
        Don't forget the "amber alerts", "sliver alerts", "traffic alerts", and yesterday I read a "boil water alert". Like all this crap is needed.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Car Guy
          [blocked]
        James who rides
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Andre Neves
        If you cant glance at a sign without sounding out the words and understanding the meaning immediately I am led to wonder how long it takes you to stop at a stop sign... The point is that if this sign makes you think for a second about another's life and how you are responsible as a driver of a motor vehicle then it has done its job and a life has been saved. Signs that save lives are always welcome in my world. If you can't get the gist of the sign at a half glance then you shouldn't drive... How long does it take you to read that ever-important text message. I couldn't believe people are against awareness... Maybe your parents weren't aware that dropping their child on their head is a bad thing.
      mikemaj82
      • 2 Years Ago
      its the idiots who ride in between lanes, but they deserve to be hit.
        landoflostsouls
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mikemaj82
        hey idiot in some states "lane spliting" is legal. Don't make excuses for your sh*&ty driving.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @landoflostsouls
          [blocked]
          Marques Bland
          • 2 Years Ago
          @landoflostsouls
          http://www.calsci.com/motorcycleinfo/PrintLaws.html Apparently the lane splitting is legal ONLY in California. Nevertheless, I think it's dangerously stupid and motorcycle riders put themselves in extreme harm when doing that. Yeah, you're in a rush, we all know that, more of a rush than every other driver out there.
          mikemaj82
          • 2 Years Ago
          @landoflostsouls
          try third world countries, moron. I can't wait for the day someone opens their door and takes one of those jerks out.
      tsktsk3
      • 2 Years Ago
      You can put all of the "watch out for motorcycles" signs and bumper stickers you want, but with most states having long rolled back their helmet laws, it's a bit stupid don't you think? Yeah, sure, I'll watch out for you, but if ANYTHING goes wrong on the road in front of you, your fault or not, your unhelmeted head will hit the road like a launched watermelon. I'm not responsible for your inane stupidity. Where I live, so far this summer not a single week has gone by where an unhelmeted motorcyclist hasn't been killed. Please don't ask me to watch out for you putting yourself in a profoundly unsafe circumstance.
      JD
      • 2 Years Ago
      If safety was truly an issue for mmotorcycles there would be an enforced helmet law in every state. No one can legally drive a car/truck without wearing a seatbelt but bikers can ride without a helmet, truly bizarre.
      NissanGTR
      • 2 Years Ago
      The only way its going to change is if cagers (when at fault) is charged with hitting a pedestrian instead of a motorcycle as a vehicle.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @NissanGTR
        [blocked]
      johnbravo6
      • 2 Years Ago
      And instead of watching for motorcycles they'll be reading your big yellow sign.
      nea
      • 2 Years Ago
      As a biker, I'll be happy if you don't watch for us specifically (or the stupid signs), if you just stop doing all the other dumb things I see you doing out on the road every day. Unsignaled lane changes, illegal u-turns, paying more attention to your cellphone than the road, running yellow lights, you know... minor stuff like that. If you can just drive defensively and refrain from doing stuff other motorists are unlikely to expect... I'll be a-ok with you not looking out for me.
        Just Stuff
        • 2 Years Ago
        @nea
        Not being a motorcyclist, I agree with you and also add. Not popping wheelies down the street, passing on both shoulders, passing between cars, both moving and stopped at a light (don't care if it's legal or not). driving at high speeds down the road (speed limit x 2 or more). and all the other asinine thing I've seen some motorcyclist do.
        P
        • 2 Years Ago
        @nea
        +1 Even car enthusiasts are perps of stupidity listed above. Please mind the rules, folks. Your two-wheeled friends' lives depend on it.
      jebibudala
      • 2 Years Ago
      Awesome, more sign pollution that states the obvious. One day while being a passenger on a 12 mile commute to work I made a conscious decision to read every single road sign and notice. I counted over 237 indications a driver is suppose to read, 98% of my eyes were reading signs, 2% was watching the road.
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