More of us do it every day than we’d like to admit. We know we shouldn’t; we’ve heard it’s dangerous but, we still do it. Meanwhile, one man is out to spread the word, town by town, and encourage us all to put the cell phone down while we drive. As an accident attorney and father, I applaud his efforts and want to help spread Tony’s message. Here is his story:
Tony Anshutz, a former Los Angeles police officer (who now teaches SCUBA diving in Cozumel, Mexico,) is riding his motorcycle 16,000 miles in an attempt to raise awareness about the dangers associated with cell phone use while behind the wheel.
Tony became involved in the cause after meeting Dave Teater whose 12-year-old son was killed in a collision involving a driver using a cell phone. Tony is calling his adventure “Ride the Americas”, he set off on August 17 and will be stopping in small and big cities throughout North America. His goal is to promote the National Safety Council’s initiative to ban all cell phone use nationwide while driving.
Using a cell phone or smart phone while driving, in any capacity, is dangerous, and the task falls to people to self-police. Studies have shown that a driver’s level of distraction while talking on a cell phone can rival that of a person who is intoxicated. Furthermore, when we text and drive, the problem is even worse because now our eyes are not even on the road. Cell phone use while driving is the cause of 636,000 crashes and 2600 deaths annually.
Tony will be sharing stories and statistics about cell phone use including the fact that drivers using cell phones are 4 times more likely than other drives to be in a crash. Tony does not think that technology itself or cell phones in general are bad or dangerous but he says “as we become dependent on it, we must also adapt our behavior to its dangers.”
While Tony is traveling the roads of North America, he will be uploading images and logging his progress. To follow Tony’s progress as he rides across the Americas, visit http://www.ridetheamericas.com/ or join his Facebook group.
The websites include action items you can take to promote safety and the cell phone ban initiative through your own behavior, urging others to change or even by making a donation. Help Tony save lives and keep America’s roads safer.