GEICO urges drivers to drop distracting habits

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 13, 2015 – Along with showers for May flowers, the month of April has an even more important distinction: Distracted Driving Awareness Month. GEICO encourages motorists to assess their driving habits now and weed out any distracting behaviors.

Three ways you may become distracted*

  • Visual: taking your eyes off the road
  • Manual: taking your hands off the wheel
  • Cognitive: taking your mind off driving

These are distracting behaviors

  • Cell phone use tends to come to mind first, whether texting, talking, dialing, reading emails or browsing the internet. While this may be the most dangerous form of distracted driving, it's not the only example.
  • Other distracting behaviors include eating, any kind of grooming, reading mail, singing along to music or interacting with a passenger to name a few.

You cannot multi-task

A common misconception among drivers is a strong belief in the ability to multi-task. This thought is a myth because the human brain can only focus on one task at a time. When a person claims to be multi-tasking, he is actually rapidly switching his attention back and forth between several tasks.

Another misconception is the thought that having decades of experience behind the wheel can make up for doing distracting activities. Whether you are 18 or 58 years old, you could still miss the length of a football field by looking down for three to four seconds while going 55 mph. Inattention does not discriminate, and can have equally grave consequences for a novice or veteran driver.

Additionally, texting while driving raises your chances of causing an accident by more than 20 times.* Even hands-free technology for phone calls isn't totally risk free, as it cannot fully eliminate cognitive distractions.

Set an example

Set an example for your friends and family by making a commitment to put gadgets away, plan meals ahead of time and take care of any grooming needs before getting behind the wheel.

Visit GEICO online to learn more about distracted driving and for teens, click the hashtag #BrakeTheHabit for details about entering GEICO's distracted driving video contest.

*Data from NHTSA, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company), the second-largest auto insurer in the U.S., was founded in 1936 and insures more than 27 million vehicles.

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