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 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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