* About 80 percent of crashes are related to driver distraction. The leading source of driver inattention is cell phones.
* Simulator research shows that drivers using cell phones have slower reaction times and are more likely to get in a crash than drunk drivers (at the .08 level).
* Hands-free devices are no safer because of the cognitive distraction that occurs while using a cell phone."Technology is wonderful, but as we become dependant on it, we must also adapt our behavior to its benefits and dangers," Tony says. "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 cell phone is even less likely to see me, which puts me at greater risk."Throughout his journey, Tony will write about his adventures and post images. People interested in tracking his progress can visit www.ridetheamericas.com. Fans are also encouraged to track Tony through his Ride the Americas Facebook group.Tony’s estimated itinerary includes: * Denver, Colorado, Aug. 17 — Ride the Americas kick-off, 2 p.m. at the Colorado State Patrol Academy
* Cheyenne, Wyoming, Aug. 18 — Meet Tony at noon at the Wyoming-Montana Safety Council
* Billings, Montana, Aug. 21
* Anchorage, Alaska, Sept. 6
* Seattle, Washington, Sept. 15
* Portland, Oregon, Sept. 16
* San Francisco, California, Sept. 18
* Los Angeles, California, Sept. 20 — Meet Tony at the NSC’s California Chapter
* Palm Springs, California, Sept. 21
* Phoenix, Arizona, Sept. 24 — Meet Tony at the NSC’s Arizona Chapter
* Flagstaff, Arizona, Sept. 26
* Albuquerque, New Mexico, Sept. 28
* Dallas, Texas, Oct. 1 — Meet Tony at the NSC’s Texas Chapter
* Austin, Texas, Oct. 2 — Say goodbye to Tony as he enters Mexico (location TBD)"By delivering information to everyone I meet, I hope to educate hundreds – maybe thousands – of people about how unsafe it is to talk on a cell phone while driving," Tony says.