Having a safe summer: no text is worth a life

Having a safe summer: no text is worth a life

BY Andrea Brands | Director, Consumer Education and Safety at AT&T

Every year, more and more teens and young adults are using their phones to engage, communicate and connect to their world. With that increased usage comes an increased need to focus on using devices safely. As we head into the summer months filled with vacations, summer jobs, and celebrations we have to be more vigilant about ensuring that our roads are safe. These “100 Deadliest Days” on the road for teens – spanning from May 23 through September 3 – are a major focus of AT&T’s It Can Wait® campaign to end texting while driving.

Just in time to help us grow awareness for the summer, the It Can Wait campaign recently announced that Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile and more than 200 other organizations have joined the movement. AT&T and these three other mobile carriers have committed millions of dollars to fund an advertising campaign, airing four new ads featuring personal stories about lives that were drastically altered or ended because of texting while driving. The campaign will also be working with USAA, which serves millions of members, to bring a co-branded simulator to military bases around the country as part of a simulator tour with over 400 events.

If you’re reading this blog, chances are you’ll be interested in our social media efforts this summer. Be sure to follow us on Twitter, where we will be sharing daily tweets on personal reasons why drivers are taking the It Can Wait pledge.  Here is one I posted the other day.

All of these activities will culminate with the National Day of Action on September 19, 2013. On that day, we will be working with people and organizations across the country to bring the campaign to communities, school and families.

We are asking people to speak up and speak out about the issue of texting while driving by getting people to take the pledge not to text and drive, by discussing their own reasons for not texting and driving and by sharing the stories of people whose lives have been affected by this deadly practice.

Want to get involved? Here’s what you can do today, on September 19 and beyond:

  • Visit www.itcanwait.com and take the no-texting-and-driving pledge.
  • Share your promise with others via Twitter (#itcanwait) and Facebook.
  • Set an example.  Don’t text and drive.  Seventy-seven percent of teens have seen their parents text and drive, and 75 percent say it is “common” among their friends.
  • If you’re an AT&T customer with an Android or BlackBerry device, go to the storefront on your phone and download and set-up the AT&T DriveMode app.

Speak up, speak out, look out for the It Can Wait message this summer and get involved with the campaign for the National Day of Action on September 19. Together we can grow this important movement and save lives.

 

Editor’s note:  As part of our partnership with AT&T on distracted driving, I invited AT&T’s Consumer Education and Safety Director, Andrea Brands, to share more about the ‘It Can Wait’ campaign. This is the second in a series of guest blog posts by AT&T. 

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Melanie Batenchuk founded Be Car Chic in 2009 as a way to help consumers make smart decisions when buying and selling their cars. Her prior work at the dealership, trade association and manufacturer levels has provided her a deep understanding of the complex facets within the auto industry, making her a leading woman in her field.