GEICO: Stay off paved roads to stay safe on ATVs

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 13, 2014 — With warmer weather around the corner, GEICO urges drivers use caution on paved roads when riding an all-terrain vehicle (ATV).

ATVs are designed for off-road use only, but many people risk their lives and their passengers' lives by driving their ATV on public paved roads.

According to a recent study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), more than 1,700 ATV riders died in crashes on public roads in the U.S. from 2007 to 2011. Almost two-thirds of all fatal ATV crashes occurred on paved roads. Deaths have increased dramatically over the decades as ATVs become more popular.

With low-pressure tires and the ability to reach high speeds, ATVs are not safe to use on paved roads. Few riders wear helmets and many drive impaired, only increasing the danger. The IIHS study revealed that only 13 percent of drivers and 6 percent of passengers killed while operating an ATV were wearing helmets.

GEICO offers the following tips to ATV drivers and riders to help stay safe:

  • Always wear a helmet whether a driver or passenger
  • Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Drive only in proper locations
  • Reduce speeds
  • Be mindful of the possibility of rollovers
  • Take extra caution when driving with a passenger (if allowed on your ATV model

"Whether you're driving a car, riding a motorcycle or enjoying an ATV, it's important to have the right protection," says Thomas Garner, GEICO motorcycle/ATV director. "You never know who or what might cause an accident. Your insurance company can provide you with a lot of valuable advice."

GEICO reminds drivers that Utility Task Vehicles (UTVs) are also more dangerous on paved roads than off-road terrains.

GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company) is a member of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies and is the second-largest private passenger auto insurance company in the United States. GEICO, which was founded in 1936, provides millions of auto insurance quotes to U.S. drivers annually. The company is pleased to serve more than 15 million private passenger customers, insuring more than 24 million vehicles (auto & cycle).

Using GEICO's online service center, policyholders can purchase policies, make policy changes, report claims and print insurance ID cards. Policyholders can also connect to GEICO through the GEICO App, reach a representative over the phone or visit a GEICO local agent.

GEICO also provides insurance quotes on motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), boats, travel trailers and motorhomes (RVs). Coverage for life, homes and apartments is written by non-affiliated insurance companies and is secured through the GEICO Insurance Agency, Inc. Commercial auto insurance and personal umbrella protection are also available.

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