Jennifer Smith has been an advocate against distracted driving since her mother was killed by a person talking on his cell phone while driving in 2008. She is a mother of two daughters and works everyday to educate the public about the dangers of cell phone use while driving as well as working with families who have lost loved ones in distracted driving tragedies. Jennifer now travels the nation and worldwide to give presentations to schools, the public, organizations and corporations on the issue and helps families who have lost loved ones find a way to turn their tragedies into action by sharing their stories to save others from the same needless crashes.
Jennifer’s work on the issue of distracted driving began when her mom’s story was featured as the lead story in the NY Times Pulitzer Prize winning series, ‘Driven to Distraction’ and it grew substantially after the September 2009 National Distracted Driving Summit in Washington, DC called by Secretary LaHood where she was a special guest of the Secretary. The following year, she gave the closing remarks at the 2nd National Distracted Driving Summit. Since then she has maintained that relationship the Secretary and the Department of Transportation and has worked with other families of distracted driving victims to bring grassroots level change to numerous states across the country.
Jennifer worked closely with Oprah Winfrey on her No Phone Zone Campaign appearing on her first episode, ‘America’s New Deadly Obsession’ in January of 2009 and at the viewing rally for the April 30 ‘No Phone Zone Day’ in Washington, D.C. hosted by Gayle King. Jennifer has become one of the nation’s experts on the dangers of distracted driving. She has also appeared on Fox News, CNN, and many other major network shows including appearing on the Today Show, Larry King Live, 20/20, and Rock Center.
Jennifer has hosted numerous state distracted driving summits which have brought together hundreds of attendees in each state to engage them in further distracted driving efforts. Jennifer and her non-profit advocacy organization, StopDsitractions.org also oversee the Speaker’s Bureau for the It Can Wait campaign which allows victims and their families the opportunity to share their personal stories in order to prevent further distracted driving tragedies. Jennifer has been recognized by the Department of Transportation as a Woman in Transportation History for her work over the years.
My mother, Linda Doyle from Oklahoma was a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a sister, and a friend. She was leaving her neighborhood when a 20 year old driver t-boned her car at 45-50mph, he never saw the red light or the other cars already stopped at that light, he never saw my mom’s car until it was too late, and he never even tried to brake. The 1st thing he said when he got out of his car was that he was talking on the phone and he never saw my mom right in front of him.
He was not texting, he was not dialing, he was not looking for his phone. He was doing what hundreds of thousands of people do every day, maybe even you, having a conversation while driving.