The Virginia Department of Transportation, Drive Smart Virginia and GEICO are partnering to take action to help "reduce the use" of cell phones and other driver distractions by creating the first annual "Distracted Driver Awareness Day," May 3, in Virginia and North Carolina.
GEICO, Drive Smart Virginia, city officials and community volunteers will be stationed throughout Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia that day to distribute pledge cards and information about developing safer driving habits.
Mayor Meyera Oberndorf of Virginia Beach will take part in the events, along with representatives from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles and Drive Smart Virginia to discuss with residents the dangers of distracted driving. They will assemble at the Thalia Shell Gas Station at Pembroke Mall located at 4500 Virginia Beach Boulevard between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.
Portsmouth Mayor James Holley, III will lead local events in his community to help increase awareness of the dangers of distracted driving.
A recent study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration concludes that distracted drivers are the leading cause of crashes in the U.S., accounting for 80 percent of crashes and 65 percent of near crashes. Even more dangerous than cell phone use, the study found that drivers reaching for moving objects within the vehicle were nine times more likely to get in an accident.
Locations for "Distracted Driver Awareness Day" in Virginia include: Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Richmond, Fredericksburg, and the Northern Virginia area. Locations in North Carolina include Raleigh and the Outer Banks.
GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company) is the fourth largest private passenger auto insurer in the United States. It provides auto insurance coverage for more than 7 million policyholders and insures more than 11 million vehicles. GEICO is a member of the Berkshire Hathaway group of companies. Rated A++ for financial stability by A.M. Best Company, GEICO keeps its rates low by dealing directly with the customer.