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Celebrate Independence Day safely: GEICO reminds drivers to stay safe on the roads

fireworks (select to view enlarged photo)

WASHINGTON--July 1, 2013: Fourth of July celebrations are gearing up across the country and many Americans are planning to show their patriotic spirit by attending firework shows, family gatherings, parades and barbeques. Before heading out during this holiday weekend, GEICO reminds drivers to be extra cautious as roads are exceptionally busy and distractions are everywhere.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Fourth of July is one of the deadliest holidays of the year, accounting for 251 fatalities in motor vehicle traffic crashes during the holiday in 2011. To help prevent accidents on the roads, GEICO offers these simple tips for drivers to ensure a safe Fourth of July weekend.

  • Buckle up. Wear your safety belt and tell your passengers to do the same.
  • Don't speed. Everyone is in a rush to get somewhere during the holiday. Take your time and plan ahead for any expected traffic or bad weather.
  • Don't text or use your cellphone while driving. Pull over and use your cellphone for emergency situations only.
  • Don't drink and drive. Fourth of July is one of the deadliest holidays of the year due to alcohol-impaired-driving crashes. Always designate a non-drinking driver before you begin your holiday celebrations.
  • Pay attention to your surroundings. Although you might be following the rules of the roads, other drivers may not.
  • Speak up. Whether it's a friend or family member, don't be afraid to take someone's keys if they have over indulged.

In the Washington Metro area, GEICO works with the Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) as a sponsor of SoberRide, which provides free cab rides as an alternative to drunk driving. People who need a ride can call 1-800-200-TAXI or visit WRAP .