5 Safety Tips for Cycling in the City

Have you recently traded in your carpool for a leisurely bike ride to the office? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “the number of Americans traveling to work by bicycle increased 61% in 12 yearsi.” As more and more people are turning to bicycling, cities are catching on and implementing new tactics to cater to the growing usage including: road infrastructure updates including bike dedicated lanes and bike share programs. It’s important to stay safe when you’re sharing the rode with other vehicles; remember to stay out of drivers’ blind spots and make sure that cars and other vehicles clearly understand your intentions. Want to make sure you are doing all you can to stay safe while cycling? Follow these five safety tips.

Be visible
Before even jumping on your bike, ensure you are wearing the right attire. As well as being clothes that are comfortable and won’t get in the way of the activity, what you wear should also be reflective. While this is especially important at night, bright colors will also draw attention to you during the day and help other road users to give you the room you need. Keep out of drivers’ blind spots to help prevent accidents.

Follow the law
The temptation when riding a bike is to oscillate between being a road-using vehicle and a pedestrian depending on the circumstances, nipping onto the pavement when required. This should not be undertaken, as in the eyes of the law, bikes are vehicles and should obey the same rules that cars, vans and trucks must adhere to. This means taking notice of all road signs, signalling when appropriate and being aware of all other road users.

Communicate your intentions
Your bike should be equipped with a bell, so don’t be afraid to use it. This and the correct hand signals will help other drivers, cyclists and pedestrians know what you will be doing next. Not only will this help to keep you safe, it will also ensure traffic can move effectively throughout the city’s road system.

Stay proactive
Cyclists should be on alert at all times to ensure they can react to any situation that occurs. Caution and patience are also important skills to nurture in a bid to be the best example of cycling practice possible. If you behave correctly, then you can hope and expect other drivers to do the same.

Be consistent
It is often unpredictable behavior that can lead to accidents or road rage, so be consistent in the way you cycle. This will allow other road users to know what you will do next and adjust their behavior accordingly. Think about their intentions as well as your own and everyone will be able to get to their destination in a civilized manner.

i http://www.nhtsa.gov/Bicycles

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Safer Roads: Best Practices for Businesses

It is estimated that 25% percent of vehicle accidents are work-related, and if commuting is included, that figure rises to 50%.1 As a major owner and operator of vehicles around the world, the private sector can play a key role in improving road safety worldwide.

To help improve road safety, AIG joined Together for Safer Roads; this innovative coalition brings together members’ knowledge, data, technology, and global networks to focus on five areas that will make the greatest impact globally and within local communities. These five areas for action are: road safety management, safer roads and mobility, safer vehicles, safer road users, and post-crash response.

Recently, Together for Safer Roads released a new report to assist companies with best practices for road safety. Providing insights to assist in all five areas of action, this report gives concrete, helpful advice on designing and establishing corporate programs that improve road safety.

We’re sharing several key insights and examples from the Coalition’s report. Read on to learn how you and your company can apply road safety strategies to reduce accidents:

1. Collect, analyze, and report data on road incidents and safety programs
Ryder’s Safety Analytics Group creates weekly, monthly, and annual data-driven reports that track incidents and reveal trends. Each month, company leaders review a detailed ‘safety scorecard’ report that shows the frequency of collisions and injuries, safety plan performance, and the results of trainings. Ryder has also recently developed a new metric, the Total Safety Index, which combines all safety measurement categories into a single, composite score. This new metric has increased accountability for safety among multiple teams within the company.2

2. Partner with your drivers to manage the risks of the road 
Walmart’s approach to dispatching allows drivers control over their schedules. Instead of dispatching drivers by simply looking at their number of available hours as they appear in the electronic log, the company asks drivers to state the hours they’re able to work. This careful approach to pre-journey planning means that drivers can adjust their schedules based on their individual needs. By working with drivers as individuals, management can set realistic schedules that give drivers adequate rest and reduce the risk of accidents. Walmart drivers are also free to take breaks if they need them.3

3. Implement the right technology to prevent crashes 
An AIG client asked if we could help find the right technology to prevent rear-end collisions in class 8 trucks. AIG recommended that our client invest in a particular collision mitigation system. The client installed this system in 60 of their vehicles and to date, none of these trucks have been involved in a rear-end collision. It is estimated that this technology could reduce severe crashes by 40%.4

4. Educate and motivate to encourage safe driving practices among drivers 
AB InBev provides ongoing education and motivation to encourage safe driving. In addition to daily and weekly safety meetings and monthly and annual trainings, AB InBev uses its internal communications capabilities to produce awareness campaigns that help drivers overcome pressing safety challenges.

5. Reward your safe drivers for a job well done 
Chevron has implemented a program to reward drivers for their safe driving. The Chevron-sponsored Red Eye Radio Million Mile Club honors drivers in the U.S. and Canada who have driven a million miles without a collision. Established in 1922, the Million Mile Club represents one of the most prestigious awards in the trucking industry.6

By developing and implementing road safety programs, companies can protect their employees and reduce the risk of accidents. To discover additional best practices for commercial companies, view the original article below.

To learn more about AIG’s road safety initiatives and offerings, visit our Road Safety site.

1World Health Organization. (2015). “Global Status Report on Road Safety 2015.” Quoted in Together for Safer Roads. (2015). “Advancing Road Safety: Best Practices for Companies and their Fleets,” page 9. © 2015 Together for Safer Roads”

2Together for Safer Roads. (2015). “Advancing Road Safety: Best Practices for Companies and their Fleets,” page 14. © 2015 Together for Safer Roads”

3Together for Safer Roads. (2015). “Advancing Road Safety: Best Practices for Companies and their Fleets,” page 17. © 2015 Together for Safer Roads”

4Together for Safer Roads. (2015). “Advancing Road Safety: Best Practices for Companies and their Fleets,” page 24. © 2015 Together for Safer Roads”

5Together for Safer Roads. (2015). “Advancing Road Safety: Best Practices for Companies and their Fleets,” page 38. © 2015 Together for Safer Roads”

6Together for Safer Roads. (2015). “Advancing Road Safety: Best Practices for Companies and their Fleets,” page 31. © 2015 Together for Safer Roads”

The content contained herein is intended for general informational purposes only. Companies and individuals should not solely rely on the information or suggestions provided in this article for the prevention or mitigation of the risks discussed herein.

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Driving Towards Safer Roads

Insurance helps people to feel more empowered and less fearful about life and the future. I’ll give you an example of what I mean: A few years ago in an Italian museum, I saw an insurance policy that had been taken out in 1582 to protect a ship and its cargo against piracy and storms. That insurance helped the ship owner dispel some of his fears of risk and perhaps even encouraged him to expand his trade routes.

Car insurance acts the same way, eliminating some fears about daily personal travel. And unfortunately, those fears can be legitimate.  According to the World Health Organization, today road accidents are the number one killer of 15 to 29 year-olds around the world, and are the eighth leading cause of death globally. By 2030, it is predicted that road accidents will become the fifth leading cause of death, ahead of HIV/AIDS, diabetes, and both throat and lung cancer.

AIG insures millions of personal and commercial vehicles. By using data and analytics and by having conversations with our customers, we understand more and more every day about what causes road accidents, and what we can do to help prevent them. From that perspective, we believe that AIG, the private sector, and individuals can all play a role in making our roads safer. By working together, hopefully we can all help to slow the alarming statistics around traffic accidents.

Insurance has always been a powerful market force to incentivize safety. By using the power of technology, and leveraging our ability to analyze claims data, we have been able to help our clients and our clients’ clients become even safer road users. For example:

  • AIG recently partnered with Europcar Ireland for a pilot project to determine if a “smoother” driver is a safer driver and if we could incentivize safer driving behavior. By using data from telematics devices on Europcar Ireland’s fleet, AIG was able to analyze speed, harsh acceleration and braking, and cornering speed of its rental cars, and then provide renters with a smooth-driving score. The study determined that high smooth-driving scores were linked to fewer accidents. In fact, the smart use of this data resulted in a reduction of claims by 23%.1 These innovative technologies and applications allow AIG to provide new data-driven insights that could help further improve the safety of our clients.
  • By harnessing data available through our Client Centric Analytics initiative, AIG was able to supply our client with information to help them make better fleet purchasing decisions. Our analytics identified the model of vehicles associated with claims that were 20 to 30% more expensive than claims involving other models.

Part of AIG’s decision to become a founder of “Together for Safer Roads,” − a global private sector coalition aimed at improving road safety − was our belief that companies could more effectively tackle the issue of road safety by working together rather than alone.

As Vice-Chairman of the coalition, I am very optimistic about what Together for Safer Roads can achieve. Over the past two years, the coalition has grown to include some of the world’s most recognizable businesses, including AB InBev, AT&T, Chevron, Ericsson, Facebook, IBM, iHeartMedia, PepsiCo, UPS, Walmart, and others.

The coalition just released the Advancing Road Safety Best Practices for Companies and Their Fleets report. The report outlines practices that companies can use to keep employees, partners, and contractors safe on the world’s roads, as well as minimize costs. It’s a useful guide that can help companies big or small become safer road users.

Finally, we can also all do our part as individuals to make our roads safer. In some cases, that is simple: don’t drink and drive or text while driving. Other solutions – like examining your own driving style and modifying behaviors – may be helped by emerging technologies.  What matters most is that we all do our part to make this world – and all the roads on it – a safer place.

To learn more about AIG and Road safety visit: www.aig.com/roadsafety

To learn more about Together for Safer Roads visit: www.togetherforsaferroads.org

1 Based on findings from pilot project with Europcar Ireland, May 2016

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Author or Source
Peter Hancock

A Global Initiative to Improve Road Safety

As the ninth leading cause of preventable death globally – and the foremost killer of 15-29 year-olds –  traffic-related accidents are a modern scourge that claim more than 1.2 million lives every year and injure tens of millions more.1 Reducing the number of fatalities and injuries brought about by unsafe driving will require a sustained, broad-based and innovative effort on the part of both the public and private sectors.

To that end, in April 2014 the United Nations made improving global road safety part of its post-2015 development agenda.2 A month previously, AIG and Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) had co-signed an open letter, joined by representatives from Siemens, Volvo, and WalMart, urging the UN to consider including road safety in its Sustainable Development Goals.  And today, AIG and AB InBev are co-chairs of a private sector global initiative to help reduce driving-related accidents and improve overall road safety worldwide.

Together for Safer Roads (TSR) is the world’s first global private-sector coalition on road safety.  TSR has aligned its goals with the UN’s Decade of Action for Road Safety and will focus on using its member’s knowledge, data, technology, and global networks to promote safer roads, drivers and vehicles. In addition to its co-chairs, initial TSR members include AT&T, Chevron, Facebook, Walmart, Ericson and PepsiCo, iHeartMedia and Tesla.

Leveraging Data and Imaging to Reduce Traffic Accidents

As an example of the kind of effort TSR members are making, AIG is working with New York University in a yearlong study of two intersections to identify situations that lead to (or are likely to lead to) crashes – and to take steps to correct them so that the number of actual crashes will be reduced. The effort combines state-of-the-art image processing techniques that are used to extract the trajectories of vehicles and pedestrians with a statistically-driven methodology that uses relevant characteristics of the intersections (traffic patterns, intersection geometry, etc.) to correlate vehicle and pedestrian trajectory data with actual accident data. If effective, the approach could be generalized and promises a way to tailor improvements to specific high-risk intersections that can significantly reduce the level of death and injuries associated with them.  Learnings gleaned from the approach should also be useful in designing new intersections that are inherently safer than they otherwise would have been.

On the Road Again – Reducing Truck Driver Fatigue

“I’ve been everywhere, man.  I’ve been everywhere,” sang Johnny Cash, and many of the world’s truck drivers would no doubt nod in agreement.  Long hours behind the wheel have long been known to bring on fatigue.  But what is likely less well known is that the whole-body vibration (WBV) that a truck driver experiences in his or her hours on the road is also believed to be contribute to driver fatigue.  Researchers have found that WBV increases the load on the spine, contributes to muscle fatigue, and is linked to disc herniation.3

To decrease the effects, AIG and Bose, the innovator in noise cancelling headphone technology, are providing funding to the RAND Corporation to study the link between WBV and driver fatigue.  In addition, Bose has designed a seating system capable of cancelling out most road vibrations, giving drivers of the thousands of multi-ton trucks that crisscross our roads and interstates daily the opportunity to drive more safely and healthily – a clear benefit not only to the drivers, but to everyone else on the road.  AIG has teamed up with Bose to offer these systems at a discount to AIG’s trucking clients.

Improving the safety of the world’s roads is a worthy goal.  AIG, as a TSR company, is committed to doing its part to achieve it.

Driving Safer, Saving Lives

Improving road safety and reducing traffic-related injuries and fatalities should be an urgent priority everywhere around the globe. A quick look at the statistics relating to traffic safety will tell you why.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 1.2 million people die in traffic-related accidents worldwide every year, making driving-related injuries the ninth leading cause of preventable death globally. They are also the leading cause of death for young people, ages 15 to 29. And it’s not only automobile drivers and their passengers who are injured. According to the WHO report, approximately half of all road-related fatalities are so-called “vulnerable road users”—pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists. In addition to the high number of deaths, up to 50 million people sustain non-fatal injuries each year in traffic accidents. The WHO predicts that if current trends continue, by 2030, driving accidents will become the seventh most common cause of fatalities worldwide “unless urgent action is taken.”1

In many parts of the world, including the U.S., much progress has been made in raising awareness about the need for safe and sober driving. We see efforts along these lines daily in the U.S., where public service ads that warn about the dangers of speeding, and of texting or drinking while driving, are ubiquitous, as are warnings from organizations like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD). Nevertheless, there are still more than 30,000 traffic fatalities in the U.S. every year.2 In some countries outside the U.S., the situation is better; in others, worse. But all can improve.

Road Safety around the Globe

When measured by annual road-related fatalities in countries with populations of 1 million or greater, road safety varies widely. When looked at by geographical region, Europe has the safest roads, with a collective 9.3 traffic fatalities per 100,000, and the Americas (North and South) are second, at 15.9. Roads in Africa are currently the least safe, with 26.6 deaths per 100,000 (far above the global rate of 17.4).1

Each region and country has its own challenges in making its roads safer. As already noted, in the U.S., we continue to battle against traditional problems such as drivers taking to the road after too many drinks. More recently, the challenge has been our preoccupation with digital devices distracting us while driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), driver distraction due to the use of digital communications devices led to more than 3,000 deaths and over 430,000 injuries in the U.S. in 2014. NHTSA data also shows that drivers aged 15-19 accounted for the “largest proportion of drivers who were distracted at the time of the crashes.”3  Citing a Virginia Tech Transportation Institute finding, the FCC notes that if you text while driving, you are 23 times as likely to be involved in an accident.4

AIG’s Commitment to Enhancing Road Safety

AIG is committed to helping to improve road safety. In fact, AIG cofounded Together for Safer Roads, a private-sector coalition that assembles global private sector companies, across industries, to collaborate on improving road safety. The coalition brings together members’ knowledge, data, technology, and global networks to focus on five areas that will make the greatest impact globally and within local communities.5  The coalition’s expert panel recently published a whitepaper called  “Investing in Road Safety: A Global Imperative for the Private Sector” and the coalition also published a best practice report to help companies improve the safety of their fleets.

AIG recently partnered with Europcar Ireland for a pilot project to determine if a “smoother” driver is a safer driver and if we could incentivize safer driving behavior. By using data from telematics devices on Europcar Ireland’s fleet, AIG was able to analyze speed, harsh acceleration and braking, and cornering speed of its rental cars, and then provide renters with a smooth-driving score. The study determined that high smooth-driving scores were linked to fewer accidents. These innovative technologies and applications allow AIG to provide new data-driven insights that could help further improve the safety of our clients.

AIG has also worked to increase road safety for children in the developing world. Thailand ranks third in the world for traffic fatalities, and only an estimated seven percent of children wear a helmet when riding on a motorcycle. To help increase youth safety and prevent traffic fatalities, AIG contributed to Thailand’s Head Awareness Governor event, where we helped distribute more than 2,500 helmets to students.

A Global Problem

It will take the concerted efforts of governments and the private sector working together in countries around the world to make the world’s roads safer. Fortunately, the basic rules we need to follow for safe driving are simple and well-known:

  • Buckle up.
  • Use car seats.
  • Don’t drink and drive.
  • Slow down, and yield to pedestrians.

Unfortunately, turning knowledge into habits is never easy.  But this is an effort worth making—for everyone’s sake.

1 World Health Organization, “Global status report on road safety, 2015.” Accessed online on July 8, 2016 at http://www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/road_safety_status/2015/en/.

2 “NHTSA [National Highway Traffic Safety Administration] 2014 Motor Vehicle Crashes: Overview.”  Accessed online on June 21, 2016 at https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812246.

3 “NHTSA [National Highway Traffic Safety Administration] Distracted Driving 2014.” Accessed online on June 21, 2016 at https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812260.

4 “The Dangers of Texting While Driving.” Accessed online on June 21, 2016 at https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/dangers-texting-while-driving.

5 “Together for Safer Roads: About Us.” Accessed online on July 15, 2016 at http://www.togetherforsaferroads.org/about-us/.

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