Don’t Text and Drive: Your BFF Jill

AT&T’s “It Can Wait” campaign visits local high school

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Sending or receiving text messages takes a driver's eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

    What do eating a bowl of cereal, applying eyeliner, and sending a text message have in common? They are all dangerous things to do while driving 60 miles per hour down the freeway.

    Twenty years ago, there were significantly less distractions available to drivers. Rewinding the cassette tape to jam out again to Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby” was one of the few things to take your eyes off the road.

    But something has grabbed a hold of teenagers and adults alike: technology. With many cars coming standard with built-in distractions such as GPS or DVD players, many teens have grown up with a multitasking mindset behind the wheel.

    Students at Moisés E. Molina High School in Dallas got to experience AT&T’s “It Can Wait” campaign firsthand Monday. 

    The behind-the-wheel simulator helps students understand the dangers of texting while driving and helps promote safer driving practices.

    Drivers who text are 23 times more likely to be in a crash or near-crash, making distracted driving just as dangerous as intoxicated driving. Texting while driving, on average, takes the focus off the road for five seconds at a time. A car traveling at 65 miles per hour will cross the length of five basketball courts during that time.

    The “It Can Wait” campaign also includes “The Last Text” documentary, a sobering video documenting the last text message sent or received by teenagers just before fatal or life-changing accidents.

    With 43 percent of teenagers admitting to texting while driving, it’s not surprising to see companies stepping up to fight the epidemic. As a wireless service provider, AT&T is in a unique and strategic position to lead the fight, offering apps like AT&T DriveModeTM, which automatically responds to text messages received while driving with a customized auto-reply message.

    AT&T launched its “It Can Wait” campaign in March 2010. To date, more than 110,000 people have taken a pledge not to text and drive on AT&T’s Facebook, Friends & Family and employee pages.