Texas drunk driving deaths top the nation; GEICO urges recommitment to safe driving

DALLAS, March 25, 2017– Drunk driving deaths in Texas have remained elevated for the past decade. Texas, in fact, holds the dubious honor of being the state with the most traffic deaths due to drunk driving and the most traffic deaths overall in the U.S. in 2015, reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

With that in mind GEICO is urging Texas drivers to recommit themselves to safer driving for themselves, their passengers and the public.

"It's important for Texans to make safety a top priority every time they get behind the wheel," said Dan Beacom, vice president of GEICO's regional operations in Dallas. "Setting a safe driving example is the key to reversing this alarming trend in Texas."

GEICO urges drivers to adopt this safe driving checklist

Pour drinking and driving down the drain: More than 35 percent of road deaths in Texas resulted from alcohol-impaired driving according to NHTSA. Plan ahead is the message. If you're going out where alcohol will be served, know how you're going to get home. Think cab, public transportation, a rideshare service or a completely sober designated driver.

Ditch the distractions: Driving is complicated enough by itself. Adding extra activities behind the wheel often means big mistakes. Texting, talking to passengers too much, fixing makeup or programming a GPS are serious distractions. They could lead to "inattention blindness," a condition where people don't see what's right in front of them because they're distracted. They can and do miss objects in the roadway like pedestrians and emergency vehicles or even stop signs and other traffic signals.

Scrub away speeding: Yes, Texas is home to the nation's highest speed limit. Despite that, drivers should first consider what a safe driving speed is for their own skills and local weather and road conditions. Speeding can significantly reduce a driver's time to react and remains a major cause of crashes.

86 aggressive driving: Tailgating, weaving through traffic, excessive use of the horn and rude gestures all make up aggressive driving. These behaviors can turn minor situations into dangerous ones. Don't take road incidents personally. Take a deep breath and let the offending vehicle move on rather than creating a confrontation.

For more safe driving tips, visit the car safety page on the GEICO More content hub.

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.

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