lifestyle, travel This is Cozumel

16,000 miles is a long way, especially for one man on a motorbike.

But that's the distance island scuba instructor, Tony Anschutz, plans to ride, in a zigzag route taking him from Colorado, via Canada and Alaska, all the way across Mexico to Cozumel.

Why would he make such a crazy trip? Simple: to warn about the dangers of cell phone use while driving.

With the support of the USA's National Safety Council (NSC), Tony set off from Denver on his "Ride the Americas" campaign on Monday.

He is currently somewhere around the Canadian border on the way to Calgary.

Before leaving, he said, "Most people don’t realize how dangerous it is to operate a motor vehicle while using a phone. As a motorcyclist, 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."

For Tony, a former Los Angeles police officer, the mission is personal. He learned of the risks of cell phone use while driving from the loss of a boy named Joe, the son of Tony’s friend Dave Teater.

Cozumel bike ride
Warning about the dangers of cell phone use while driving.

The solo bike trip -- equivalent to riding more than half way around the world -- aims to raise awareness about the dangers of talking or texting while driving.

The NSC says that drivers who use cell phones are 4 times more likely than other drivers to be in a crash that causes injury and about 80 percent of crashes are related to driver distraction.

The leading source of driver inattention? You guessed it: cell phones.

To find out more about how you can support Tony and the NSC visit the Ride the Americas website.