GEICO says, 'Distractions are like blindfolds; keep them out of the driver's seat'

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 7, 2017 – If a brain surgeon texted while performing surgery, or a chemist called to get baseball scores while mixing flammable compounds, or a pilot took a selfie while landing a helicopter, what do you think the outcome would be? Not very good would be your first thought.

The same goes for drivers who operate their vehicles while distracted. You just can't expect a good outcome.

To mark Distracted Driving Awareness Month, GEICO wants drivers to stay in the know on distractions behind the wheel, and offers these thoughts on how to do just that.

Are you driving distracted?

My car has voice command technology, and that keeps me from becoming distracted, right?

This isn't always the case. While voice commands help keep your hands on the wheel, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found drivers still took their eyes off the road while using them. Voice commands also can cause the driver to lose focus. If the system makes an error with an address on the GPS for example, it can easily cause drivers to divert their attention, which can lead to a driving error.

Can I do things like texting and putting on makeup while driving because I'm a really good multi-tasker?

Actually, multi-tasking is a big myth; so the answer is no. Our brains rapidly switch between tasks, which can have a significant impact on driving performance.

How can driving distracted blind a driver?

Distractions can cause what researchers call inattention blindness, which could lead to drivers missing objects such as emergency vehicles, road signs and pedestrians as a result of a distraction according to IIHS.

What are the consequences of driving distracted?

Drivers who choose to text behind the wheel or operate a handheld device could potentially face fines according to IIHS. Additionally, drivers' insurance rates could increase if they cause a crash as a result of driving distracted.

Set a Safe Driving Example

Become a part of the solution to distracted driving by leaving distractions out of your daily drives. Keep phones on silent, set GPS destinations before shifting into drive, pull over to eat and take care of your primping needs earlier or later.

If you find yourself riding with a distracted driver, don't be afraid to speak up and voice your concern—sometimes safe driving needs to stretch to the passenger seat, too.

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

image of how distractions can blindfold you behind the wheel

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.