Thanks to Allstate Insurance, twenty-five American cities are getting new traffic signs meant to prompt motorists to be aware that they’re sharing the road with motorcyclists. The signs will be planted in twenty-five major metropolitan areas, and will remind drivers to watch for bikers at intersections. Currently, there are an average of three motorcyclists killed at intersections every day, and crash data shows that more motorcycle crashes happen at intersections than at any other point on the road, including the open highway, relative to the amount of time spent at crossroads.
The “caution” signs are yellow, diamond-shaped markers that feature the silhouette of a motorcycle and the word LOOK, as a reminder to check for bikers before crossing an intersection. They’re being planted as part of Allstate’s ONE (Once is Never Enough) program, and are meant to increase awareness and remind drivers and bikers that just one look before entering an intersection is not enough.
According to Keith Rutman, vice president of Allstate’s consumer household unit, “In the time it takes to blink an eye, a life could be saved. Taking one extra second at an intersection to look left, right – and left again – for motorcyclists can help make our roads safer.”
The latest report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) says that there was a 13 percent decline in motorcycle thefts last year, which continued a downward trend in thefts. Specifically, there were 56,093 motorcycles reported stolen in 2009, down from 64,492 the previous year.
The same report also shows that passenger vehicle and light truck thefts are also down, but so are vehicle sales. Sales of motorcycles decreased by 40.8 percent between 2008 and 2009, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council. The Japanese Automobile Manufacturers Association also reported a decrease in production: 47.4 percent fewer units produced in 2009 than in 2008.
Consumers considering the purchase of a motorcycle should remember that motorcycle insurance rates may be affected by the frequency with with certain models are stolen. The top five models stolen in 2009 were:
- Honda (13,688)
- Yamaha (11,148)
- Suzuki (9,154)
- Kawasaki (5,911)
- Harley-Davidson (3,529)
Combined, these five makes accounted for 77.4 percent of total reported bike thefts, or 43,430 stolen vehicles.
There were five states which, combined, saw 39 percent of the total motorcycle theft activity. They were:
- North Carolina
Not surprisingly, most motorcycles are stolen in the summer months, with July seeing the most thefts in 2009.