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Travel Expert Diana Nyad Drives
Wireless Safety Promotion

Wireless safety is an everyday concern for motorists. A survey from Cingular Wireless and Avis Rent A Car System, Inc. shines its headlights on the need for wireless safety when traveling out of town, especially for people traveling in unfamiliar vehicles and in unfamiliar places. According to a Cingular and Avis sponsored 2003 Braun Research survey of American car renters, more than 93 percent of people who own cell phones take them on trips; however, only 48 percent of those surveyed own a hands-free device, and just 36 percent take it with them when they travel. Eighty-nine percent of those surveyed do not check the local laws on wireless phone use while driving.

To help address these safety concerns and reduce the level of distractions experienced by drivers, Cingular and Avis are launching a promotion that helps drivers Be Sensible and travel more safely in 2004. Now through April 7, consumers who review the Cingular/Avis wireless safety tips and pledge to Be Sensible will receive a free ear bud while supplies last, plus a coupon for one free day of Avis Assist Navigation Global Positioning System (GPS). Customers can connect the free ear bud to their cell phone, allowing them to instantly talk - hands free. Cingular provides customers with a variety of ear buds to ensure comfort and compatibility with most current handsets available today.

The promotion will be fielded at Avis counters in 28 of the nation's busiest airports, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Dallas, Atlanta, San Francisco and Boston. Consumers who take the safety pledge at the counter will instantly receive the free ear bud and Avis Assist coupon. Consumers can also log onto and take the safety pledge online; the free ear bud and coupon will be mailed to online participants.

Travel expert Diana Nyad, currently hosts a weekly national radio show called "The Savvy Traveler" and contributes a weekly column on National Public Radio's "Morning Edition." Nyad has teamed up with Cingular and Avis to disseminate the following Be Sensible wireless safety tips:

· Stay with us for a while
   The Avis lot offers a quiet retreat to familiarize yourself with car    controls, configure your wireless phone and hands-free device  and check voice mail.

· There's no such thing as a free ride
    Have your passenger take calls, read maps and complement your driving skills.

· Keep your eyes on the prize
   Avoid taking notes or looking for phone numbers while driving.  Use Voice Connect where available for hands-fee dialing.

   Text messaging and interactive paging are off-road activities.

· Driving is a hands-on experience
   Use a hands-fee device for your wireless phone when possible.

· Don't overheat in traffic
  For stressful or emotional conversations, move safely off the road.

· Heavy traffic? Slippery roads?
   Say those three magic words: Call Me Later.

· Ignorance is not always bliss
   Know the wireless phone laws of the states in which you'll be  traveling.

"As wireless phones have become commonplace in society it is imperative that people realize the importance of wireless safety, especially when driving through unfamiliar cities in unfamiliar rental cars," said Nyad. "Cingular and Avis have put together a great promotion to educate consumers and affect a positive change in wireless safety behaviors."

Survey Says:
Only 20 percent of survey respondents admitted to feeling more distracted in a rental car than in their own car. Of the survey respondents who listed ways to limit distractions, 25 percent answered that they drive more carefully, 15 percent said they slow down, 14 percent said they refrain from using a cellphone,
14 percent said they turn off the radio/CD player, and 14 percent said they ask for directions before getting in the car. Who do people call when they arrive at their destination? Forty-five percent call their spouse/partner, 19 percent call their child/children, and only 1.9 percent call their boss.

For more information visit or