Man Embarks on 16,000-Mile Journey to Highlight the Dangers of Cell Phone Use While Driving

On August 17, Tony Anschutz began a solo, 2-month, 16,000-mile motorcycle adventure to raise awareness about the dangers of cell phone use while driving – a behavior that causes 636,000 crashes and 2,600 deaths annually, according to the National Safety Council (NSC).

Anschutz’s “Ride the Americas” trip will take him through North American crossroads and big cities, where he will stop to meet people and advance NSC’s call for a nationwide ban on cell phone use while driving.

Anschutz learned of the risk of cell phone use while driving through the loss of 12-year-old boy named Joe, the son of his friend Dave Teater. Joe was killed in a crash caused by a driver distracted by her cell phone.

According to NSC, the facts about cell phone use while driving are sobering:

  • Drivers who use cell phones are four times more likely than other drivers to be in a crash that causes injury.
  • About 80 percent of crashes are related to driver distraction. The leading source of driver inattention is cell phones.
  • Simulator research shows that drivers using cell phones have slower reaction times and are more likely to get in a crash than drunk drivers (at the .08 level).
  • Hands-free devices are no safer because of the cognitive distraction that occurs while using a cell phone.

“Technology is wonderful, but as we become dependent on it, we must also adapt our behavior to its benefits and dangers,” Anschutz said. “Most people don’t realize how dangerous it is to operate a motor vehicle while using a phone. As a motorcyclist for 20 years, I am more vulnerable on the road. Someone on a cell phone is even less likely to see me, which puts me at greater risk.”

Anschutz’s estimated itinerary stretches from Colorado to Wyoming, Montana, Alaska, Washington state, Oregon, California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. He will write about his adventures and post images on http://www.ridetheamericas.com.

“By delivering information to everyone I meet, I hope to educate hundreds – maybe thousands – of people about how unsafe it is to talk on a cell phone while driving,” said Anschutz.

Related Articles

Drivers Say Texting a Very Serious Threat to Highway Safety

NSC: Drivers Are More Distracted Than They Realize

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