Building on a campaign that has raised awareness of the dangers of texting while driving and inspired more than 1.2 million pledges not to text behind the wheel, AT&T today announced plans to expand the It Can Wait program in 2013.
Texting and driving can be a deadly combination and is involved in more than 100,000 vehicle crashes each year, often causing injuries and deaths. This video shows the dangers.
This year, AT&T plans to collaborate with other companies and nonprofit organizations to further spread the message that no text is worth dying for -- and to make no-texting-while-driving technologies more widely available.
"Our goal is simple - we want to change behavior and save lives," said AT&T Senior Executive Vice President and Global Marketing Officer Cathy Coughlin. "That's why we're putting additional resources behind this effort and why we're inviting everyone to join us in this cause. Working together, we can make a difference."
In 2012, 165 organizations, including national nonprofits, commercial businesses, law enforcement, educators, legislators, professional associations and government agencies helped get out the message and encourage people to make a personal pledge not to text and drive. The combined efforts of organizations including the Federal Communications Commission, the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Organizations for Youth Safety, SADD, Big Brothers Big Sisters, RadioShack and CTIA-The Wireless Association made a difference. For example:
Âª Awareness of the It Can Wait message increased 26 percent during the key campaign period.
• One-in-three people in that period said that texting while driving messages have an impact on their driving habits.Â²
• More than 1.2 million no-texting-while-driving pledges were made at ItCanWait.com and through Facebook, Twitter, live events and text-to-pledge initiatives.
In 2013, AT&T plans to extend work with existing It Can Wait collaborators and significantly expand their ranks. Plans include:
• Working with device makers to pre-load no-texting-while-driving technologies and solutions into handsets, with the goal of making these solutions standard on all AT&T smartphones. The Pantech Discoverâ„¢, announced today, will be the first device to come with the free AT&T DriveModeÂ® safe-driving app preloaded. Other device makers, including Samsung and HTC, have plans to preload DriveMode onto future smartphones later this year.
• Engaging cities such as Houston, Texas, and companies including USAA and Walmart to discuss potential new It Can Wait collaborations.
• Making resources - ranging from It Can Wait branded materials, to teaching aids and sample company policies - available to other organizations for programs they develop.
• Launching a year-round texting-while-driving simulator tour targeting more than 380 events nationwide.
AT&T, its 240,000 employees and other supporters are calling on all drivers to go to www.ItCanWait.org to take the no-texting-while-driving pledge, and then share their promise with others via Twitter (#itcanwait) and Facebook. The pledge is part of the public awareness campaign aimed directly at stopping the dangerous practice of texting while driving.
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