GEICO, Miss America and local safety groups ask teens to take the pledge to end distracted driving

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va., April 7, 2014 – April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and GEICO is partnering with the Miss America Organization, Safe Community Coalition, DRIVE SMART Virginia, and Teens with a Purpose to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving in Virginia high schools.

GEICO is encouraging local students this month to organize distracted driving pledge drives and awareness campaigns for their students. Students taking the pledge will be asked to not use their cell phones, eat, groom, read, or participate in any other distracting activity while driving. They will also pledge to encourage friends and family to stop using cell phones while driving and learn more about the dangers of distracted driving.

"Teen drivers are more likely to be involved in a fatal crash where a distraction was cited," said Joe Thomas, GEICO regional vice president. "We are committed in our efforts to reinforce good driving behaviors to help reduce accidents and fatalities among teens in Virginia."

Research conducted by the National Institute of Health states that distracted driving raises the risk of car crashes among teens. Young drivers between the ages of 15 to 20 years old are involved in about 10 percent of all accident fatalities and 13percent of police-reported crashes resulting in injury.

GEICO will provide distracted driving awareness materials to schools participating in the pledge drive and campaign.  Miss America 2014, Nina Davuluri will also visit select schools to offer tips on how teens can stay safe on the road.

Students can post photos and videos that promote safe driving to the Distracted Driving Awareness Campaign's Facebook and Twitter pages, which will be monitored and reviewed by administrators from Teens with a Purpose. For additional information on the dangers of distracted driving, parents and teens can download GEICO's The Distracted Brain brochure by visiting GEICO's teen driving website at www.geicoteendriving.com.

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 14 million private passenger customers and insures more than 23 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. Commercial auto insurance and personal umbrella protection are also available.

For more information, go to www.geico.com.