The 2008 death of an Oklahoma City woman is the focus of a new U.S. Department of Transportation video about the dangers of distracted driving.
Linda Doyle was 61 when she was killed in a car crash in Oklahoma City; her car was struck by a vehicle driven by a man who ran a red light while talking on his cell phone.
Doyle’s daughter, Jennifer Smith, has become an advocate for cell-free driving and formed a group called FocusDriven. She testified at the Oklahoma state Capitol in 2009 for legislation to restrict cell-phone usage by motorists.
The group is co-sponsoring the Illinois Distracted Driving Summit in Chicago on Thursday. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, a former Illinois congressman, is scheduled to speak.
“I applaud Jennifer for all of the work she is doing to raise awareness about the deadly consequences of distracted driving,” said LaHood said today.
“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.”
Smith said, “Even a split second of inattention behind the wheel can change your life in an instant.”
“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.”
According to the Transportation Department, “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 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.