Office of Public Affairs
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
Monday, April 18, 2011
Contact: Justine Adelizzi
Tel: (202) 366-4570
U.S. Department of Transportation Releases New "Faces of Distracted Driving" Video
FocusDriven President Jennifer Smith Talks About Losing Her Mother Ahead of Illinois Distracted Driving Summit
WASHINGTON - U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today released the latest video in the U.S. Department of Transportation's "Faces of Distracted Driving" series, featuring FocusDriven President Jennifer Smith.
Watch: "Linda Doyle, 61" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6ta2whI8Gk
Jennifer Smith became a vocal anti-distracted driving advocate after her mother, Linda Doyle, was killed by a distracted driver in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in 2008. Linda Doyle was on her way to do volunteer work when she was killed at an intersection by a young driver who ran a red light and smashed into her vehicle while talking on a cell phone. In 2010, Jennifer Smith became president and co-founder of FocusDriven, the first national nonprofit organization devoted specifically to raising awareness about the dangers of texting and cell phone use while driving.
To raise further awareness about the issue of distracted driving, FocusDriven and the National Safety Council are hosting the Illinois Distracted Driving Summit in Chicago, Illinois on Thursday, April 21, 2011. Secretary LaHood is scheduled to deliver opening remarks.
"I applaud Jennifer for all of the work she is doing to raise awareness about the deadly consequences of distracted driving," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "I hope everyone who hears about the loss of her beloved mother Linda will remember to keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel."
"Even a split second of inattention behind the wheel can change your life in an instant," said Jennifer Smith. "What happened to my mom could happen to anyone. And no family should ever have to lose a loved one to something as insignificant as a text message or a phone call."
"Faces of Distracted Driving" is a video series exploring the tragic consequences of texting and cell phone use while driving. It features people from across the country who have been injured or lost loved ones in distracted driving crashes. In 2009, nearly 5,500 people died and half a million were injured in accidents involving a distracted driver.
The series is part of Secretary LaHood's effort to raise greater awareness about the dangers of distracted driving.
WATCH: "Faces of Distracted Driving" - www.distraction.gov/content/faces
The U.S. Department of Transportation is encouraging anyone who would like to share their distracted driving experiences to post videos on YouTube and email the links to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about USDOT's efforts to stop distracted driving, please visit www.distraction.gov.