For over a year, AT&T has tirelessly been promoting it's "It Can Wait" program that talks to students and teachers about the dangers of texting while driving.
They took it even a step further this week as Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Tim Hudson visited East Coweta High School in Sharpsburg to talk to students and reinforce the dangers that exist. High school students throughout the Atlanta metro area recently had the opportunity to sign AT&T’s "It Can Wait" pledge for a chance to win a prize package that included VIP tickets to a Braves game, a pre-game meet-and-greet with Hudson, and an appearance by Hudson at the winner’s school.
East Coweta High was the lucky winner of the visit.
“Driving a vehicle is a huge responsibility, and it doesn’t matter what a message is. When you are behind the wheel of a car …. It can certainly wait,” Hudson said. “You are responsible for yourself, your passengers, and other drivers around you. No message is important enough to text or read while you are driving, putting yourself and others at risk. That one little message could cost you your life.”
More than 100,000 injuries or deaths occur in the United States each year that are related to texting and driving. 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. Texting while driving is also against the law
Some statistics from AT&T:
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.
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.
Looking ahead to what lies ahead in 2013, AT&T says they are working on the following:
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 Discover, announced today, will be the first device to come with the free AT&T DriveMode 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.
Remember "It Can Wait," and put your phone down while driving.