Aug 12 2011
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"No Text Message is Worth a Life" - Faces of Distracted Driving

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The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has launched a video series, “Faces of Distracted Driving,” to raise awareness of the potentially tragic consequences of texting and cell phone use while driving. The videos share the stories of family members who have lost loved ones in distracted driving crashes.

In 2009, the year for which DOT has the most recent information, nearly 5,500 people died, and half a million were injured in accidents involving a distracted driver.

The latest installment will make you cry – and hopefully make viewers stow away their cell phones for good when they’re in the driver’s seat. Heather Hurd, 26, was on her way to meet her fiancé and parents at a wedding planner's office when a truck driver, texting from his perch, slammed into Sharon and eight other cars. The driver never even braked. “No text message is worth a life,” says Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

“My message is simple,” says Russell Hurd, Heather’s father. “Turn the cell phone off and focus on safe, distraction-free driving.”

See Heather's story here.

The DOT offers resources to help others get involved in preventing distracted driving here, including guidance for states on assessing distracted driving policies, laws and public awareness.

Weigh in: What ideas have worked in your community to reduce texting and cell phone calls while driving?

Tags: Public health, Transportation, Public health law, Safety, Transportation