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AVIS LAUNCHES ACCIDENT REDUCTION, SAFETY AWARENESS PROGRAM ACROSS UNITED STATES

 GARDEN CITY, N.Y., Sept. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Avis Rent A Car System, Inc., said today it was launching a multi-faceted accident reduction and safety awareness program as the nation revs up from the summer doldrums.
 "Schools have opened for the new term, business travelers are returning to the roads, autumn vacations are being scheduled, and Avis is making a comprehensive national effort to help reduce accidents and increase driver well-being," Ronald Masini, vice president of product/program at Avis, said in a announcing the program. Certainly any reduction in traffic accidents is worthy of our attention."
 He pointed out that Avis had a recent pilot program to alert its renters of the most common causes of accidents in and around airports; in one test city crashes were reduced by as much as 25 percent. The alert was in the form of a message on steering wheel covers on cars in a test city, that told the renters: "Avis research shows four main reasons for collisions.
 -- Carelessness on or around airport property
 -- Quick lane changes
 -- Hasty U-turns
 -- Rear-ending car in front."
 "It became clear to us that unfamiliarity with the airport environs often caused drivers to be confused and make driving mistakes," said Masini. "Given the success of our pilot test reducing crashes and injury, we have decided to roll out this steering wheel alert in our cars across the country during October."
 In-vehicle Navigation Systems
 To aid renters driving in unfamiliar territory, Avis is testing an in-vehicle navigation system called NAVMATE in its San Jose, Calif., fleet. Using satellite navigation technology, the device shows a driver via a display terminal the routes to take to any area destination that is entered into the computer on board. Avis joined with federal, Florida state and county highway agencies, General Motors Corp. and the American Automobile Association in a year-long test, called TravTek, of an on-board directional and information system.
 Better Visibility
 Avis has equipped part of its rental fleet in six northern states with daytime running light (DRL) systems that automatically turn on the headlights when the engine is started. Use of DRLs in Canada and some Scandinavian countries where they are mandatory has reduced multi-car collisions dramatically. Data gathered from this safety equipment test will be made available to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and other interested organizations.
 Avis said rain-blurred windshields often obscure vision and increase glare for drivers; to learn if a new glass coating not yet commercially available will lessen these safety hazards, Avis is testing it on cars in two cities. The thin, durable transparent material causes water to "bead" and be swept off the glass.
 More Safety Devices
 Equipping the fleet with the latest mechanical devices also has top priority, the company said. More than 99 percent of its 1994 rental cars will have anti-lock breaking systems and/or driver side air bags, 88 percent of the vehicles will have automatic door locks and 100 percent of the mini-vans will have integrated child safety seats. Self-aligning steering wheels that give way at impact and brake/transmission interlocks that prevent the transmission from being shifted from "park" before the foot brake is applied are in the `94 fleet orders as they become available.
 -0- 9/20/93
 /CONTACT: Demetria Mudar, 516-222-4611, or Raymond Noble, 516-222-4719, of Avis/


CO: Avis Rent A Car System, Inc. ST: New York IN: LEI SU:

TW-SM -- NY087 -- 3821 09/20/93 16:28 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 20, 1993
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