Record Number Of Holiday Weekend Drivers Turns Spotlight On Safety

Record Number Of Holiday Weekend Drivers Turns Spotlight On Safety

Verizon Wireless Encourages Wireless Users to Make Responsible Driving First Priority

May 24, 2001



The American Automobile Association recently projected 34.2 million Americans will travel this Memorial Day weekend, a slight increase from last year's numbers. More than 83 percent of those holiday travelers will be driving to their destinations and many will be using wireless phones to stay in touch with their family or to call for help in an emergency. With so many travelers on the road, drivers will need to take extra precautions to ensure they get to their destinations safely.

In conjunction with National Wireless Safety Week, May 21 through May 28, Verizon Wireless offers these safety tips for driving and using your wireless phone:

  • When behind the wheel, responsible driving is always your first responsibility.
  • When possible, dial your phone when your car is not in motion.
  • Always use hands-free products, such as headsets, speakerphone and voice-activated dialing, when driving and talking. When you turn your phone on, make sure your hands-free device is on and working.
  • Pre-program important and frequently dialed numbers, including home and babysitter, into your phone's speed dial so you can dial them by pressing only a few buttons.
  • Never take notes or write down phone numbers while driving. Rather, pull off the road to a safe spot or leave yourself a message on your voicemail system.
  • Know your wireless phone number so emergency personnel can call you back. You may want to write it down and keep it in your car for quick reference.
  • If traffic conditions warrant your undivided attention, turn your phone off and let calls go to voicemail.

Verizon Wireless supports statewide hands-free legislation

Last fall, Verizon Wireless took an industry-leading position by being the first wireless carrier to support statewide legislation restricting the use of wireless phones while driving. The company supports statewide legislation that recognizes the emergency benefits of wireless phones, exempts emergency calls, allows for the use of hands-free kits, and has a three-year phase-in period. The phase-in period would give consumers time to upgrade their phones to accept hands-free technology and give manufacturers time to make affordable hands-free products readily available.

Verizon Wireless believes that statewide uniformity of wireless legislation is critical and that a patchwork of local ordinances would be confusing to drivers and difficult to enforce.

About Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with more than 27 million wireless voice and data customers. The coast-to-coast wireless provider was formed by the combination of the U.S. wireless businesses of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD), including Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, GTE Wireless and PrimeCo Personal Communications. Verizon Wireless has a footprint covering more than 90 percent of the U.S. population, 49 of the top 50 and 96 of the top 100 U.S. markets. The company, headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, is 40,000 employees strong. Reporters and editors can find more information about the company on the Web at http://www.verizonwireless.com.