May is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month (we forgot too), and contributing to the cause is Allstate Insurance Company, who says it will continue to donate standardized warning signs for motorcycle safety with its "Once is Never Enough" (ONE) program. ONE is an awareness campaign that encourages people to look for motorcycles at intersections and aims to reduce the number of motorcycle crashes at intersections with installations of warning signs. 20 U.S. cities are scheduled to get them this year. Additionally, a new Allstate Motorcycle Facebook mapping application was created in response to the numerous requests from the rider community to help bring awareness to other hazardous road conditions.
"It's a known fact that motorcycle collisions with autos can have most tragic consequences and it's been our goal to help ensure the roads are shared safely by all motorists and riders," said Keith Rutman, vice president of Allstate's Specialty Lines unit. "We wanted to provide an outlet for people to share their stories, reach other riders and warn them on a peer level about potential risks a rider can face."
Helping to launch the 2013 ONE program is the Rider Risk Map(SM), an application on the Allstate Motorcycle Facebook page where riders can view current ONE installations across the United States in addition to flagging potential road hazards. With each flag submission, the application user can post photos of the road and leave commentary about the hazards, encouraging open dialog for other riders to voice their experiences. The interactive map of North America also allows riders to plan their routes and see road hazards other users have posted along the way.
A new study indicates motorcycle fatalities have increased approximately 9 percent in 2012, resulting in nearly 5,000 deaths (an all-time high over the past decade.[i]) Currently, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has no standard sign for motorcycle awareness in its Manual of Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). A sign was developed by Allstate in 2012, simply reading, "Watch for Motorcycles" and it was ruled in compliance with the MUTCD by the FHWA.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 46 percent of all multi-vehicle crashes occur at intersections, often times as a result of a vehicle turning left, impeding the motorcyclist's right-of-way.[ii] The ONE program's yellow, diamond-shaped warning sign was created following two years of development, which included temporary installations in various U.S. cities between 2010 and 2011. The signs were designed to establish a standardized symbol that can be used by any local or state agency and recognizable to riders and motorists across the country.
The first 2013 permanent installation of the "Watch for Motorcycles" warning signs took place earlier this week in Strongsville, Ohio, outside of Cleveland. Allstate says it will continue to work with local departments of transportation across the country to identify dangerous intersections and donate and install additional signs in the future.
[i] Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA)®, Motorcyclist Traffic Fatalities by State, 2012
[ii] 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.