GEICO says declare your independence from accidents this holiday weekend

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 29, 2017 – Whether it's a quick drive across town to a barbecue or sailing out on the water to see a fireworks show, the July 4th holiday weekend is dangerous for drivers and recreational boaters. It's one of the busiest travel times of the year and accidents tend to pile up for both groups say the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and BoatUS.

The congested roads and waterways mean drivers and boaters alike will be faced with a number of additional safety concerns. GEICO offers some helpful tips for a safe holiday experience.

Road Safety Tips:

  • Make buckling up mandatory: Seatbelts greatly reduce the risk of critical injuries for drivers and passengers in crashes. Before you put your car in drive, check to make sure everyone in your vehicle has buckled up—there's no room for excuses when it comes to safety belts.

  • Declare independence from distractions: Extra holiday traffic on the roads means drivers need to pay even closer attention. Switch your smartphone to silent mode or store it somewhere out of reach. Set GPS destinations and playlists before shifting into drive and budget time on longer trips to pull off to eat.

  • Wait to celebrate: Drinking and driving is one of the leading contributors to fatal crashes on Independence Day according to IIHS. Before you drink, have a game plan in place to get home. Many options are available such as a designated sober driver, public transportation, a cab or rideshare. Driving while buzzed also means you're driving while drunk.

Boat Safety Tips:

  • Life jackets save lives: If you are entertaining guests on your boat this weekend, make sure everyone has access to a properly-sized life jacket. The BoatUS Foundation offers free life jackets through its free Kids' Life Jacket Loaner program. The program gives boaters a chance to borrow a child's life jacket for the day, afternoon, or weekend.

  • Don't tip the boat over: Too many people, extra coolers and gear can weigh a boat down to the point that it becomes a potentially dangerous situation. Each person aboard should be able to have a seat inside the boat. It's also a bad idea to allow passengers to ride on top of a boat with an enclosed bow while underway.

  • What's the rush: You've had the perfect night out watching the fireworks show, and now there's the urge to hurry home. What's the rush? Operating your boat at a safe speed will help you stay aware of the busy boating traffic around you and avoid navigation hazards.

For more safe driving tips, visit GEICO's Car Safety Page. For more safe boating tips, visit GEICO's Boat and Safety Resources Page.

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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Visit www.geico.com for a quote or to learn more.