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.”