$27 Million Dollar Campaign Targets Younger SUV Drivers

January 31, 2005 -- Posted at 9:15 p.m. CST

JONESBORO -- "If the driver is driving unsafely, or using unsafe practices, it really doesn't make much difference whether he's in a small car or big car.....he's asking for trouble,"said Arkansas State Police Captain, Mike Coy.

A new 27 million dollar national campaign hopes to keep SUV drivers on the beaten path, and out of harm's way.

The goal of this safety campaign is to educate drivers, especially young men, on basic measures to drive an SUV safely.

Eighty percent of SUV rollover deaths are people who don't wear their seat belts.

Captain Coy of the Arkansas State Police says buckling up is the first step to safe, and responsible driving.

Another safety element is SUV maintenance.

"Cars are built from the tires up. The vehicle manufacturer commissions the tire company to build a tire, and that's where it all starts. That tire is made for that vehicle, and that's going to give you the best riding performance for that vehicle,"said tire expert, Clayton Reed.

National highway safety figures show SUV rollovers killed more than 2400 people in one year alone.

Experts say knowing how to handle your SUV, and realizing it's size and power could be the difference between life and death.