A Day to Take Action, and to Take Stock

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A Day to Take Action, and to Take Stock

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Friday, September 19, 2014 - 9:05am



Today is the third annual day of action for Texting & Driving … It Can Wait®. And as we have for the past two years on September 19, today we’re calling on everyone to get involved in the movement to end texting while driving, which is involved in more than 200,000 vehicle crashes each year.1

Our shared call to action in past years has focused on raising awareness of the dangers of texting while driving, and encouraging people to make a personal commitment never to text and drive.

Together, we’ve helped raise awareness of the dangers of texting and driving to 97 percent or more for high-risk audiences including teens and commuters.2 And the It Can Wait pledge campaign has inspired more than five million personal commitments to never text and drive – many among friends and family who pledged to keep each other accountable.

The results have been encouraging. About a third of people who are aware of the It Can Wait campaign say they changed their habits. And preliminary research on crash data from Texas, Florida and Illinois suggests a correlation between no-texting-and-driving campaign activities and a reduction in crashes!

But we see it on the road every day. Some people are still texting and driving. And that must change.

So on this day of action, we’re also helping people to find a way to keep themselves from texting at the moment of temptation.

Knowing the dangers and making a commitment are important. But the ding of your phone while you’re driving can still be seductive.

That’s why we’ve introduced a tool, “#X”, that fits naturally into texting and social conversations. It means “I’m pausing the conversation while I drive. Back soon.” We hope #X will give teens and others a socially acceptable way to pause their texting conversations until they’ve arrived safely at their destinations. The more it’s used, the more we can drive acceptance of the social norm of pausing conversations while we drive.

And for those who prefer a technology solution, we’re encouraging downloads of the free AT&T DriveMode® app.3 It can silence incoming text messages when you’re driving and automatically send a customizable auto-reply message to certain messages letting your friends know you're behind the wheel and will reply when it's safe. DriveMode is available for Android customers. If you don’t know someone has texted you, you’re less tempted to respond.

But whether it’s #X, the DriveMode app, giving the phone to a passenger to be the “designated texter,” or putting it in the console while driving, we’re encouraging everyone to find their own “Drive Mode” – the way that they personally choose to avoid the moment of temptation to text and drive.

Organizations and individuals from across the country will be active today, helping us spread the word. Here are a few of the activities you may see out in your communities:

  • The high school football “Great American Rivalry #X Twitter Battle,” which encourages teens to use #X before getting behind the wheel
  • Electronic highway message boards
  • Statements of unity posted by safety organizations and businesses nationwide
  • College campus activations
  • Youth influencers and celebrities like Demi Lovato, R5 and Rixton encourage using #X in social media and on-site activations
  • Television and online digital advertising encouraging #X use
  • Working with youth-oriented content creators like CollegeHumor and AwesomenessTV, and Twitter influencers to drive engagement of #X

For a full view of today’s activity, visit ItCanWait.com.

Here are some ways you can take action today and going forward:

  • Use #X. Just send “#X” to pause your conversations before you drive. It’s a simple and effective way to eliminate a dangerous distraction
  • Download the DriveMode app and learn more at www.att.com/drivemode.
  • Visit ItCanWait.com. Make a pledge with your loved one to never text and drive, and register to become a personal advocate in the movement.
  • Follow the movement. Follow @ItCanWait on Twitter for all the latest news on the movement.
  • Find your own “Drive Mode.” Create a routine that helps you avoid the temptation to text while driving. It could be #X, DriveMode or another app, hands-free technology, or even just turning your phone to silent – whatever works for you.
  • Speak up. If you’re a passenger in a car where the driver needs to text, offer to be their “designated texter” and text for them.

Please get involved in the It Can Wait movement to end texting while driving.

You could save a life—including your own!

1 National Safety Council

Teen Survey & Commuter Survey

3 Rates: Data and text messaging rates may apply for download and usage, including Auto-Replies

Originally posted on AT&T's Consumer Blog, on September 18, 2014.

Keywords: #X | Events, Conferences & Webinars | AT&T DriveMode® | Don't text and drive | ICW | It Can Wait® | Texting & Driving | att | safety