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It Can Wait

September 19, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

DallasTexasMarch 28, 2013

More Than Teens…More Than They Used To…and Despite Knowing the Risks AT&T Calls on Employers to Help End What Has Become a Dangerous “Habit” for Many. 

Nearly half of commuters self-reported texting while driving in a recent poll, and 43% of those who did called it a “habit.” Commuters are texting and driving even more than teens – 49%, compared to 43%.  And the problem has gotten worse.  Six in 10 commuters say they never texted while driving three years ago.

So while efforts to raise awareness of the dangers of texting while driving are working – 98% of commuters surveyed said they know sending a text or email while driving isn’t safe – there’s clearly more work to be done to change behaviors.    

Survey sponsor AT&T* is calling on employers to help end texting while driving by taking action during National Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April, and beyond. It’s asking businesses to join the more than 165 organizations already engaged in the Texting & Driving-It Can Wait movement, and to use the policies, technologies and communications materials available free at att.com/itcanwait to help move their employees beyond being aware of the danger to making a personal commitment not to text and drive.

“Businesses can help keep their employees and others on the road safe by encouraging responsible behavior behind the wheel, including obeying all laws related to the use of electronic devices,” said U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue. “We also encourage all businesses to consider joining the ‘It Can Wait’ movement to end texting while driving.  Together we can help turn the tide on this serious issue.”

Through It Can Wait, AT&T has reached millions with the insight that most text messages are trivial, and no text is worth dying for.  It has made the dangers of texting and driving real and personal by giving thousands of people hands-on experience with driving simulators and sharing the heart-wrenching stories of people – like Jamie Nash in this video – whose lives have been forever changed bytexting-while-driving accidents. More than 1.3 million personal commitments never to text and drive have been made at ItCanWait.com, through Facebook, text-to-pledge, tweet-to-pledge or at events.

“Through the It Can Wait movement, AT&T is collaborating with employers, nonprofits, law enforcement, educators, legislators, professional associations and government agencies nationwide,” said AT&T Senior Executive Vice President and Global Marketing Officer Cathy Coughlin. “I’m confident, together we can save lives by encouraging millions more to make the personal commitment never to text and drive.” The goal of the It Can Wait movement is to stigmatize texting while driving, making it as socially unacceptable as driving drunk.

To reduce the temptation to look away from the road, AT&T has launched the AT&T DriveMode® application (www.att.com/drivemode) that can be set-up to automatically send a customizable reply to incoming messages when the vehicle starts moving 25 mph. The auto-replymessage is similar to an “out-of-office alert” and can reply to texts, emails and wireless calls letting your friends know that you are driving and unable to respond. Then when the vehicle slows to less than 25 mph for 5 minutes, the app will turn off and the user can view the calls. The app will automatically send all calls directly to voicemail; however, the user has the option to create an “allow list” or it can also be turned off manually if the user needs to make a call immediately.

AT&T DriveMode® also offers additional safety and convenience features, including:

  • “Allow List,”which lets users select up to five contact numbers such as roadside assistance and family members to send and receive calls while the app is running.
  • 911 is always accessible with just a touch of a button, regardless of whether the app is turned on.
  • Music and Navigation settings allow one music and one navigation app to run while AT&T DriveMode® is enabled.

By downloading the app, customers are also automatically taking AT&T’s “Don’t Text and Drive” pledge, joining millions of others who have made the commitment to not text while driving.

The app is now available to download at no charge for AT&T customers through Google Play, BlackBerry App World™ and the AT&T App Center. AT&T continues to look for opportunities to expand the availability of the DriveMode app.

AT&T’s anti-texting-while-driving mobile solution is part of the company’s broader “It Can Wait” campaign that aims to stigmatize texting while driving. For more information, visit www.itcanwait.com.

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Categories: Safety, Training
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