As fatalities rise in New Jersey, GEICO urges drivers to focus on the road

MARLTON, N.J. Feb. 9, 2017 – Distracted driving was recently reported as the leading factor in fatal crashes in 2015 for New Jersey drivers by the New Jersey State Police. Officials believe that at least 30 percent of the 522 fatal crashes in New Jersey that year resulted from distracted driving.

GEICO asks New Jersey drivers to keep distractions out of the car in order to reverse this alarming trend.

Safety experts note that driving is a complicated task and it requires a driver's full and complete attention. Distractions can really slow down response times to hazards, and even cause drivers to completely miss objects right in front of them, a condition called inattention blindness.

Next time you start the car, GEICO offers these tips to help avoid driving distracted.

  • Leave your phone alone: Set your smartphone to silent or do not disturb. If the temptation still remains, consider stowing your phone in the glove compartment or somewhere else out of reach.
  • Don't be a frequent foodie: Plan to eat meals before or after you drive, and on long trips, pull off to take a break and eat.
  • DJ-ing and driving…not a good mix: A great playlist can help ease the monotony of a long road trip. Get your songs in order ahead of time rather than trying to search for the perfect mix after you hit the onramp.
  • Don't become a GPS guru: Sometimes plans change or traffic bubbles up out of nowhere. If you need to reroute, pull off to a safe place to change the GPS.
  • Handle primping needs at home: Eyeliner touch-ups, shaving and hair styling are all better to do in front of a bathroom mirror rather than your car's rear-view mirror. In addition to becoming a major distraction, your makeup and lipstick probably won't turn out to your liking if you happen to hit a big bump while trying to apply.

For more safe driving 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.