David Francisco is the new spokesperson for Tennessee's "Thumbs Down to Texting and Driving" Campaign

David Francisco joins the Tennessee Highway Safety Office (THSO), Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP), and Walk Bike Nashville to promote the THSO’s fourth annual Thumbs Down to Texting & Driving campaign ahead of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

As many of you know, David was on his way to class at Nashville's Blackbird Academy when a distracted driver ran a red light and smashed into him. He suffered severe spinal injuries that resulted in physical paralysis. 

“Last year, we experienced 24,781 distracted-driving crashes statewide,” said THSO Director Vic Donoho. “120 of those crashes were fatal. We were in awe of David’s remarkable recovery and resilience, because his crash certainly could’ve been fatal.”

Now, David is joining the THSO, THP, and Walk Bike Nashville to share his story and help decrease distracted-driving crashes in his home state of Tennessee.


"2017 was the deadliest year on record for pedestrians in Nashville,” said Nora Kern, Executive Director of Walk Bike Nashville. “Distracted driving is a major threat to bicycle and pedestrian safety. We support the THSO’s Thumbs Down campaign as Walk Bike Nashville promotes its new Look for Me campaign to draw awareness for this issue.”

The THSO and THP encourage everyone to participate in the Thumbs Down to Texting & Driving campaign by posting photos of two thumbs down using #ThumbsDownTN via social media throughout the month of April.

“There were 126 pedestrian fatalities in Tennessee last year,” said THP Colonel Tracy Trott. “So far in 2018, there have already been 22. These numbers cannot be ignored. The THP is warning all roadway users to slow down, watch for bicyclists, pay attention to crosswalk signals, and never text while driving.”

Sarah Jones