Every year, more than 100,000 injuries or deaths occur in the United States related to texting and driving, and the problem keeps getting worse. To help reduce accidents and save lives in 2013, AT&T is now beginning to preload No Texting While Driving apps onto wireless phones.
AT&T announced this week that The Pantech Discover will be the first device to come to market with the free AT&T DriveMode safe-driving app preloaded. AT&T plans in 2013 to work with device manufacturers to expand this accident preventing/lifesaving tactic with the goal of making these solutions standard on all AT&T smartphones.
Samsung and HTC have already committed to preload AT&T DriveMode onto future smartphones later this year.
In addition, in 2013 AT&T is extending the “It Can Wait” program by making AT&T branded materials, teaching aids and sample company policies available to other organizations for programs they develop. AT&T is also launching a year-round texting-while-driving simulator tour targeting more than 380 events nationwide. I've attended a few of these AT&T "It Can Wait" events, and they are serious about this initiative.
“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.”
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.
In 2012, AT&T’s ‘It Can Wait” demonstrated that public education helps drivers make better decisions, and in 2013 the goal is to continue expanding the movement so that millions more realize that choosing not to text and drive can reduce accidents, save lives and make our roads and highways safer for all.
Also, 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:
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.
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.