Summer's Last Hurrah Means Record Number Of Drivers This Holiday Weekend

Summer's Last Hurrah Means Record Number Of Drivers This Holiday Weekend

Verizon Wireless Encourages Wireless Users to Make Safe Driving First Priority

August 31, 2000


John O'Malley,
(716) 321-7264 or (716) 261-5899

Jill Lyon,
(315) 233-3000 or (315) 415-3533

ROCHESTER, NY - A record 33.7 million Americans are expected to travel this Labor Day weekend, an increase of five percent from last year according to the American Automobile Association. Many of those travelers will be using wireless phones to call for help in an emergency or stay in touch with family.

Drivers will need to take extra precautions while on the road this weekend since over 84 percent of holiday travelers will be driving to their destinations. Verizon Wireless offers these safety tips when driving and using your wireless phone:

  • Use your wireless phone to call for help. Dial 9-1-1 in case of a fire, traffic accident, medical emergency or road hazard. This is a free call from your wireless phone. In fact, each day, more than 118,000 calls are made to 9-1-1 from wireless phones.
  • Place calls when stopped or before pulling into traffic. And, if your phone rings when driving, pull over to a safe area on the side of the road or let a passenger take the call.
  • Allow your voice mail to take calls. Check your messages and return calls when you are able to pull over or have reached your destination.
  • Suspend conversations when driving conditions are dangerous or traffic is heavy.
  • Use hands-free devices. Using speakerphones, voice-activated dialing services and hands-free devices will allow you to keep your eyes on the road and both hands on the wheel.
  • Avoid looking up phone numbers or taking notes while driving. Reading an address book or writing down directions while driving can lead to dangerous situations. Pull off the road to take down directions or look up phone numbers.
  • Avoid engaging in distracting conversations. Emotional conversations are likely to divert your attention from the road.
  • Be familiar with your wireless phone features. Memorizing your phone's keypad will enable you to use features such as speed dial and redial while keeping your attention on the road.

About Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with more than 25 million wireless voice and data customers and nearly 4 million paging customers. The new coast-to-coast wireless provider was formed by the combination of the U.S. wireless businesses of Bell Atlantic Corp. and GTE Corp --now Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) -- and Vodafone AirTouch Plc (LSE:VOD; NYSE:VOD). The new company includes the assets of Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, GTE Wireless, PrimeCo Personal Communications and AirTouch Paging. The new company has a footprint covering nearly 90 percent of the U.S. population, 49 of the top 50 and 96 of the top 100 U.S. markets. Verizon Wireless, headquartered in New York City and Bedminster, NJ, is 30,000 employees strong. Reporters and editors can find more information about the company in its Media Center on the Web at: www.verizonwireless.com/verizon/mediacenter