GEICO says: 'Scare people with your Halloween costume, not your driving'

WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 26, 2017 – Whether your Halloween plans entail a trip to a ghoulish gala or a chance to transform into your favorite celebrity for the night, GEICO urges drivers to remember the following tips to help stay safe on the road.

Drinking and driving is a frightening combo

Driving impaired – by alcohol or marijuana – will cause loss of coordination and will cloud your judgment. That could put you at a heightened risk for an untimely visit to the ER. To help avoid that, GEICO recommends:

  • Arrange a safe ride for the evening: Plenty of options are available, including public transportation, a designated sober driver, rideshare services or cabs.* It's worth spending a few extra dollars for a safe ride home rather than the cost of a DUI. DUI costs can swell into the thousands according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
  • Take your time: Your body can only process small amounts of alcohol at a time. Remember to pace yourself, and take time to grab a bite to eat and some water in between alcoholic beverages.
  • Look after others: If you're hosting a Halloween party, keep an eye on your guests. Remember that you, the host, could face charges if a partygoer drives drunk and causes an accident with property damage and injuries.

Stay on high alert for pedestrians

Trick-or-treaters may visit your neighborhood in droves, and some could be tough to spot if they're wearing a dark-colored costume. If you're driving at this time, be prepared:

  • Obey the speed limit: Stick to the speed limit, or even below it. It will give you more time to react if someone steps out from between two cars or another unexpected spot.
  • Pay attention to crosswalks: Pedestrians who have entered a crosswalk, or who have a walk symbol at a stoplight, have the right of way. Drivers must yield to them according to NHTSA. Even if a pedestrian continues crossing after a walk symbol has expired, a driver still needs to wait.
  • Leave distractions out of the driver's seat: Sending a Count Dracula GIF might be a fun Halloween surprise, but doing it while behind the wheel is a dangerous move. Phones and all related distractions can cause drivers to miss objects and pedestrians – such as trick-or-treaters stepping out into the street.

For more safe driving tips, visit GEICO's Safe Driving Resources page.

*In the Washington Metro area, people can enter the code DCHALLOWEEN in their Lyft app for a free ride home up to $15 from Saturday, Oct. 28 at 10 p.m. until Sunday, Oct. 29 at 4 a.m. as part of the Washington Regional Alcohol Program's SoberRide initiative. The offer is valid for the first 1,500 Lyft passengers who use the code. You may find similar services where you live.

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.