GEICO: Impaired-driving still a primary cause of highway deaths

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–With phones, watches and a growing number of other digital devices vying
for drivers’ attention, it is no surprise that the danger of distracted
driving has taken center stage in recent years.

But impaired-driving is a serious issue that has not gone away. In fact,
drivers and motorcyclists under the influence of drugs, alcohol or
medication were involved in 5,592 fatal crashes in 2016, according to
the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). By
comparison, 3,210 fatal crashes involved distracted drivers.

Here are some other recent facts about impaired-driving:

  • The FBI estimates 1,017,808 drivers were arrested for driving under
    the influence of alcohol or narcotics in 2016, the last year for which
    there are complete statistics.
  • Drugs other than alcohol (legal and illegal) are involved in about 16
    percent of motor vehicle crashes, according to the NHTSA.
  • Alcohol use is a major factor in motorcycle crashes, and
    alcohol-impaired motorcycle riders are less likely to use helmets, per
    the Insurance Information Institute.
  • According to the National Safety Council, highway deaths related to
    impaired-driving increase during holiday periods, including New Year’s
    Day, Independence Day and Thanksgiving.
  • The first four states with legalized recreational marijuana use saw as
    much as a 6 percent increase in vehicle crashes compared with
    neighboring states without such laws, according to research from the
    Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and Highway Loss Data Institute.

For the safety’s sake, GEICO
urges drivers and motorcyclists to never operate a vehicle under the
influence of alcohol and drugs. There are plenty of other options
available. For example, consider taking a rideshare or taxi, using
public transportation or assigning a sober designated driver to get you
home safely.

About GEICO

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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