It is fitting that The Oprah Winfrey Show chose the Martin Luther King Day of Service to air its program on distracted driving. Spreading awareness about this deadly epidemic is a huge contribution to the safety of millions of Americans.
Oprah's online pledge draws a line in the sand that says, "NO! We will not do this anymore."
I signed it. So have tens of thousands of others. Now we need you to sign it. And then we need you to get your friends and your family members to sign it. And then we need them to get their friends and family members to sign it. That's how it works, folks, moving out one expanding circle at a time.
From Oprah's website. In the top half of the image above we see all of the information necessary to navigate the intersection safely. In the bottom half we see what the distracted driver sees. Notice this driver's attention blindness literally blocks out the pedestrians, the stop sign, the bicyclist, and the crossing guard.
One of the most compelling of those is an extended video, "After the Show," of survivors telling their painful stories of loss due to distracted driving.
Now, over and over during the show, the word "preventable" comes up. Every single one of these tragic losses was preventable. Preventable just by people keeping their hands on the wheel and their minds on the road.
So, please, while we're all thinking about service, let's do what we can to end this epidemic. Visit www.distraction.gov to learn more about what we're doing and what you can do.
Then one day we will look back and say, "Yes. We kicked that deadly habit." And when that day comes, we will have all sorts of heroes to thank. Among others, we'll thank Jennifer Smith. We'll thank Shelley Forney. We'll thank Reggie Shaw.
And we'll thank Oprah Winfrey.