AT&T has started a new campaign to try to get Americans to stop texting while driving. The carrier will spend tens of millions of dollars to promote its "it can wait" initiative and is asking everyone to make a commitment starting September 19th to no longer work their thumbs while working the steering wheel. The nation's second largest carrier wants drivers and supporters to go to the www.itcanwait.com web site to take a no texting and driving pledge and then share their promise with others via Twitter (#itcanwait).
"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. 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."-Ray LaHood, U.S. Secretary of Transportation
AT&T's goal is to reduce the 100,000 automobile accidents that occur each year with injuries or fatalities due to someone texting while driving. "It can wait" means that any message you need to text, no matter how important it is, can wait until the driver is no longer behind the wheel. No text is worth dying for is AT&T's message and to get the word out, the carrier is willing to spend tens of millions of dollars. AT&T is also having its 240,000 employees take the pledge, and is working with television and music celebrities to get the message across to the public via TV ads, concerts, public appearances, Twitter and Facebook. Speaking of the latter two social networks, AT&T will advertise on them as well as advertising on television during high profile events. An online simulator at the www.itcanwait.com website will allow everyone to experience the danger of texting while driving. The carrier will also bring law enforcement, consumer safety groups and others into the promotion, while asking 1,000 of its suppliers to have their employees pledge not to text and drive.
A recent study done by AT&T shows that 97% of teens knows that texting and driving is dangerous although 75% say it is a common practice amongst their friends. 89% of them expect a reply from an email or text within 5 minutes while 77% have seen their parents text and drive. The good news is that 89% of teens said an app would be an effective way to get them to stop driving and texting. AT&T's DriveMode app, developed by someone whose life was affected by texting while driving, is now available for Android and BlackBerry smartphones as a solution to the problem. Versions of the app for other platforms will be coming soon.
"Our goal is to save lives. 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 to take the pledge to never text and drive and to make it a lifelong commitment,” he said. “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."-Randall Stephenson, AT&T Chairman
AT&T’s “It Can Wait” public awareness campaign is focused on a simple, powerful message: No text is worth dying for.· The campaign starts as students head back to school, and focuses on Sept. 19, when everyone is urged to make a lifelong commitment to never text and drive.
· We’d like to see texting and driving become as unacceptable as drinking and driving.
· We’re spending tens of millions of dollars on the campaign in 2012 and making it an ongoing commitment in future years.
· The campaign is comprised of several key initiatives, including:
o Encouraging our 240,000 employees to take the pledge and urging all people to join them. Go to www.itcanwait.com to take the pledge.
o Working with TV and music celebrities to drive the message via TV ads, concerts, public appearances and social media.
o Launching an aggressive social media campaign
o Educating the public through:
§ TV ads
§ Working to provide a tool kit of information to every U.S. high school.
§ Bringing an in-car simulator to more than 200 locations before the end of this year.
§ Launching an online driving simulator at www.itcanwait.com in coming weeks – so that anyone with Internet access can experience the dangers of texting while driving.
§ Enlisting others – including law enforcement, educators, national retailers, consumer safety groups and legislators – to join the no-text-and-drive movement.
o Challenging device makers and app developers to have all devices include a pre-loaded, no-text-and-drive technology solution as soon as possible.
o Asking more than 1,000 of AT&T’s strategic and other major suppliers to encourage their employees to pledge not to text and drive.
o Enlisting law enforcement, educators, national retailers, consumer safety groups, legislators and the entire wireless industry to join the no-text-and-drive movement.
On the DriveMode app
It's free and available now for Android and BB (more platforms to come). It was conceived by an employee whose life was affected by texting while driving.
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