His latest T-shirt design — printed with the slogan “I Run These Streets” and timed to coincide with Distracted Driving Awareness Month — has had some legs of its own since going on sale this month. It didn’t hurt that U.S. Olympics marathon runner Kara Goucher wore one when she appeared in Women’s Running.
Savage, who became a runner about six years ago, said he has had so many close calls as a jogger that it’s almost a routine: A driver veers toward him and then jerks away at the last second, obviously having been distracted by the smartphone in his hand.
“I do believe I’m going to die in a distracted driving accident,” Savage, 45, said in an interview this week. “Literally on every run, I have at least two people who will swerve at the last minute.”
If anything, the problem’s only gotten worse in the past few years, he said. One day last spring, the distracted driver who nearly tagged Savage happened to be a good friend and neighbor of his in Rye Brook, N.Y. The man didn’t even realize he had almost killed or injured someone he knew at first, Savage said.
Savage decided it was time to do something. So Savage, who works for J. Walter Thompson, launched his own business, Dash It, in July, featuring T-shirts whose messages, like the business’s name, are double entendres. One says, “Killer emoji.” Another — which says “Not My Finish Line,” with a graphic of a highway’s double yellow line — conveys the idea that the bearer does not want the road markings to become a grave marker on a final run. (The name of the business is intended to tell drivers to “dash” their phones, his website says.)
His first batch of slogans didn’t quite catch on, perhaps because they were a little too obscure. But he said he’s been pleased with the reception of his latest.
“My goal is to be a grass-roots [movement] — let’s make a difference,” Savage said. A percentage of the proceeds — his goal is 20 percent — will go to the National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) and People Against Distracted Driving (PADD).
Read more of Tripping: