In an effort to get drivers to hang up their cell phones, the National Safety Council (NSC) is targeting 67 US markets with “Death by Cell Phone” billboards and a short safety video.
According to NSC, cell phone use by drivers is a factor in six percent of US vehicle crashes. It is implicated in 636,000 crashes, 330,000 injuries, 12,000 serious injuries and 2,600 deaths each year.
According to the NSC, chatting on a cell phone while driving quadruples a driver’s risk of being involved in a personal injury crash. Frighteningly, eight in 10 drivers admit to talking on a cell phone while in motion, while 18 percent send text messages while driving.
The billboards and video tell the story of Linda Smith, a 61-year-old Oklahoma wife, mother and grandmother killed by the actions of a young driver who drove through a red light while chatting on a cell phone. Smith died a couple of hours later from blunt force trauma to her head, neck and chest.
The second sad story involves Joe Teater, a 12-year-old Michigan boy killed in a vehicle crash caused by a woman chatting on a cell phone while driving.
Smith’s daughter, Linda and Joe’s father, David, urge drivers to not take or make calls while using cell phones, whether hand-held or hands-free models.
In the video, David Teater says he can envision the day when people will look back and say, “Hey, remember when we all used to talk on cell phones when we drove? What idiots we were to do that.”