These Safe Driving Habits Will Keep Fun in the Sun

(NUI) - For millions of Americans, the summer season involves increased car travel. Gearing up for a week's vacation, a weekend getaway or just a day of fun can divert travelers from what should be their No. 1 priority: safe driving.

As more people take to the roads, the risk of an accident increases. In order to get motorists to their destination safely, the more than 80,000 UPS drivers offer a few simple tips to safeguard those summer plans.

They use these "Five Space and Visibility Habits" every day, making them among the safest transportation professionals on the road:

* Aim high in steering: Rather than staring directly over the hood of your car, look farther down the road. This will give you more time to adjust to changing traffic conditions in front of you.

* Get the big picture: Stay back and see it all. Knowing what's ahead, beside and behind you can help you make safe driving decisions.

* Keep your eyes moving: Scan, don't stare; shift your eyes every few seconds and check your mirrors frequently.

* Leave yourself an out: Maintain a cushion of space on all four sides of your vehicle. Keep a four- to six-second interval between you and the traffic ahead.

* Make sure other drivers see you: Communicate in traffic. Use your lights and turn signals.

Motorists also are encouraged to "buckle up," something the average UPS driver does more than 100 times every day.

On average, UPS drivers experience only one accident for every two million miles driven, while the average U.S. motorist will experience nine accidents over the same distance - using statistics supplied by the National Safety Council. UPS has more than 2,300 drivers who each have more than 25 years of accident-free driving.

The Federal Highway Administration estimates that more than 2.4 trillion vehicular miles were traveled in 1996. The majority of those miles were driven between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends, and during the winter holidays.

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