NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. — One towing company is trying to get a special message out to the community this holiday season in hopes of saving lives.
Decorating for Christmas is a little different for Taylor Faille’s family. Instead of a tree in front of the family-owned towing business, they decorate a wrecked car.
"What I do every year is I take the worst car that I have and I put it out front," said Michael Schmidt, owner of All Hour Towing in New Port Richey.
Then it's decorated with lights next to a sign that says, "Don't Drink and Drive, Don't Text and Drive. Happy Holidays, All Hour Towing."
Schmidt has been a tow truck driver for more than 40 years and has seen a lot of fatal crashes because of drinking or texting while driving.
"Too many to count," said Schmidt.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 300 people die in the U.S. each year due to drinking and driving just between the week of Christmas and New Year's Day. And distracted driving can be just as dangerous.
"There are more crashes due to texting than there are to DUI's now," said Schmidt.
So before you hit the road, Schmidt wants people to keep the image of the crashed car in their heads.
"I figure if that thing saves one person, it did something," said Schmidt.