At a time when distracted driving is described as a “major problem” in the U.S. by officials at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it is increasingly heartbreaking to read stories of tragedies caused by drivers who chose not to focus on the road.
In June, Matt Recchi pulled into the breakdown lane of a Los Angeles highway. He had no idea that his life would never be the same. Recchi, 33, was struck by the vehicle of a 19-year-old woman who drifted into the emergency lane while distracted behind the wheel. His brain injuries have kept him hospitalized in L.A. since the accident, over 3,000 miles away from his mother who lives in Coral Springs, Fla. For Christmas, Tina would like nothing else but to bring her son home.
We read about Matt and Tina Recchi’s story in a touching column by the Sun Sentinel’s Michael Mayo last week. It’s stories like this that drives AutoNation and our Chairman and CEO Mike Jackson to campaign against distracted driving. Since our texting-and-driving campaign launched earlier this year, AutoNation has distributed over 10,000 TXT=RIP car magnets throughout the community. We’ve wrapped city buses with anti-texting messages and Jackson has spoken in public to spread our message.
After reading the Recchi’s story and learning of Tina’s Christmas wish, AutoNation founder Wayne Huizenga was moved to help. He will be providing the air ambulance transportation needed to bring Matt home to Florida.
Our hope this season is that everyone’s loved-ones make it home safely to celebrate the holidays. Do your part by making the commitment to put away your mobile device until you arrive at your destination.