Itasca, Illinois – A U.S. man will ride a motorcycle 25,750 km later this month to raise awareness of the dangers of using a cellphone while driving.

Tony Anschutz will ride a solo, two-month marathon, beginning August 17, with stops to meet people and advance the National Safety Council’s call for a nationwide ban on cellphone use while driving. The council said that cellphone use causes 636,000 crashes and 2,600 deaths each year in the U.S.

Anschutz learned of the risk of cellphone use through the death of 12-year-old Joe Teater, who was killed in a crash caused by a driver distracted by her cellphone. Joe’s father Dave Teater joined the National Safety Council in January 2009 as senior director of Transportation Strategic Initiatives, leading the council’s advocacy initiatives to reduce deaths and injuries associated with teen driving and distracted driving.

“Technology is wonderful, but as we become dependent on it, we must also adapt our behaviour 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 cellphone is even less likely to see me, which puts me at greater risk.”

Anschutz’s journey will leave Denver, Colorado on August 17, and enter Mexico on October 2. To track his progress, visit Ride The Americas.

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