Thursday, August 16, 2012
AT&T calls on nation’s drivers to make lifelong pledge to stop texting while driving
Wireless provider AT&T is urging all Americans to pledge to stop texting while driving – a serious road safety problem – and then to join with others Sept. 19 to make a lifelong commitment to never do so again.
AT&T, its employees and other supporters are calling on all drivers to go to ItCanWait.com to take the no-texting-and-driving pledge, and then share their promise with others via Twitter (#itcanwait) and Facebook. The pledge effort is part of the company’s public awareness campaign aimed directly at stopping the dangerous practice of texting while driving.
More than 100,000 times each year, an automobile crashes and people are injured or die while a driver was texting and driving, said AT&T Chairman & CEO Randall Stephenson, citing a statistic from the National Safety Council.
“Our goal is to save lives,” Stephenson said. “I hear from far too many people whose lives have been forever changed by a texting-while-driving accident, and together, we want to spread the word about how deadly a single text can be. Texting and driving should be as unacceptable as drinking and driving.”
“We’re challenging everyone in Kentucky to take the pledge to never text and drive and to make it a lifelong commitment,” said AT&T Kentucky State President Mary Pat Regan. “And we’re challenging all device makers and app developers to offer devices that come pre-loaded with a no-text-and-drive technology solution.”
AT&T’s “It Can Wait” public awareness campaign is focused on a simple, powerful message: No text is worth dying for. AT&T plans to spend tens of millions of dollars on the campaign in 2012 and has made it an ongoing commitment in future years. The effort is comprised of several key initiatives, including:
“Distracted driving is an epidemic on our roadways, and we need people all across America to take action in their communities to help put a stop to it,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood. “I applaud AT&T for taking on this issue with the ‘It Can Wait’ campaign, and I thank them for helping to spread the word that no text or email is worth the risk.”
Many governmental, corporate, nonprofit and other organizations have already pledged support for the awareness campaign, including: The National Organizations for Youth Safety, Students Against Destructive Decisions, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Governor’s Highway Safety Administration, the AFL-CIO’s Union Plus program, American Federation of Teachers, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, CTIA, Junior Achievement, LULAC, National Safety Council, National Urban League and RadioShack. More supporters can be found at ItCanWait.com.
A recent AT&T survey found that 97 percent of teens say they know that texting is dangerous. The survey also found:
• 75 percent of teens surveyed say that texting while driving is “common” among their friends;
• Almost all teens (89 percent) expect a reply to a text or email within five minutes or less;
• 77 percent of teens report seeing their parents text while driving.
But technology can help: 89 percent of teens said a phone app to prevent texting and driving.
AT&T first began its “It Can Wait” campaign discouraging texting and driving in 2009. The website provides an opportunity to take the don’t text and drive pledge. It also offers a host of educational resources and information on the issue – including a documentary featuring families impacted by texting and driving accidents that has been viewed more than 3 million times.