att_icw_woglb_rgb_grd_posI have posted before about the importance of NOT texting and driving. I have been on board with AT&T as part of sponsored campaigns like this one since last year and I am very passionate about this cause. As previously mentioned here in Illinois we get a haunting reminder about the dangers of driving from the signs above the expressway. I hate to keep repeating it, but it is important.  The summer has just started, but as of today the count is 387 road deaths. And we still have a lot of summer left. Now of course there is no proof that every one of those deaths came from someone texting and driving. Distracted driving is a major cause of accidents on the roads. People are chatting on the phone, playing with their radios, eating, drinking, and dropping things.

But texting is a major player in many of these accidents.  The fact remains that way too many people still do it. The numbers are insane. It is reported that more than 100,00o road accidents are due to texting and driving. Texting takes being distracted to another level. Your eyes leave the road. Your brain is focusing on getting the message right rather than driving. And all it takes is a split second of not looking for the car in front of you to slam on the brakes, or for someone to cut you off, or a kid to run into the street. Your eyes belong on the road when driving.

The Impact

The video below can show you just what impact sending or reading a text can have on a driver and bystanders.

 

The Campaign

For the first time ever AT&T has joined forces with other major carriers including Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile to spread the word about the importance of ending texting while driving. In addition to the wireless providers joining in, there are over 200 other companies that are now working together. This summer long program kicked off on May 26. The days between Memorial Day and Labor Day are sadly known as the “100 Deadliest Days” for teen drivers.

Some of the companies taking part include Clear Channel Media & Entertainment, Goodyear, Pantech, HTC, Samsung, SADD, and many more. Companies are doing several things to bring attention to the campaign ranging from sharing the It Can Wait message on their radio stations, billboards, offices, and even blimps!

What can you do to help?

  • Take the Pledge: For starters, you can take the pledge at ItCanWait.com.

take the pledge

  • Drive safely: Drive carefully. Pay attention to your surroundings. And since it is summer, watch out for motorcycles. Remember, you may trust your own driving, but you cannot always trust those around you to do the right thing.
  • Educate your children: Tell your children about the importance of not texting while driving. They may be young now, but they will be drivers one day too.
  • Utilize Your Technology: If you must read or respond to a text while driving, use your tech! Do NOT type it out. Many smartphones can read texts, and allow you to dictate to respond. Even better, newer cars have this technology over the past couple of years. You connect your phone via Bluetooth, or sync cable and use buttons on your steering wheel to control your phone without ever taking your eyes off the road.
  • Utilize Carrier Apps: All carriers have apps created just for keeping us safe while driving. If you are on AT&T, download AT&T DriveMode. If you are with another company check your carrier website for apps that you can keep your teens, and you from texting while driving. These apps can automatically disable your phone while the car is in motion so that you are not tempted. You can also check out the Safely website. Safely is the creator of many of these apps for the various carriers.

 

Will you take the pledge? Do you have teen drivers in your household? What steps do you take to keep them safe?

 

Disclosure: This is part of a sponsored campaign with AT&T. All opinions are my own.