As Georgia road fatalities rise, GEICO reminds drivers of top safety rules

MACON, Ga., Jan. 17, 2017 – Georgia has seen its first increase in traffic fatalities in a decade according to the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT). Starting in 2015, an additional 257 more deaths were reported than in 2014, and in 2016, traffic fatalities rose again by more than 100 to 1,537 in total.

GEICO encourages Georgia drivers to keep safety top-of-mind in order to help stop this serious trend.

GEICO's Safe Driving Checklist

  • ALWAYS buckle up: Seatbelts are one of the easiest ways to save lives and reduce the chances of serious injuries in a crash. In Georgia, however, 43 percent of traffic fatalities were unbuckled according to GDOT. Drivers should make buckling up a habit before they even start the car.
  • Pay attention: Distractions behind the wheel slow a driver's response time to hazards and can often lead to driving mistakes with severe consequences. GDOT reports that more than a thousand fatalities in Georgia resulted from bad driver behaviors, such as texting while driving or other distracting activities.
  • Drive Defensively: Drivers should maintain their cool while behind the wheel. Don't take it personally if another driver does something that frustrates you. Always consider how your own actions could affect other vehicles around you.
  • Don't speed: Excessive speed is often a major contributing factor in serious auto crashes in Georgia and everywhere else. Driving above the posted speed limit means drivers don't have enough time to react to abrupt changes in the traffic flow. If the weather is poor, or traffic conditions are affected by another issue such as construction, drivers should consider slowing down below the speed limit and leaving more space between vehicles in front.

Speeding is not only dangerous, but it will cost you. The fine for speeding plus mandated surcharges can start at $40 and balloon up to hundreds of dollars depending on the severity of the offense according to Georgia State Code 40-6-181. The driver also could receive points on his license, which could cause auto insurance rates to rise.

For more safety tips, visit GEICO's Safe Driving Resource Center.

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.