August 15, 2012

AT&T Asking Drivers To Sign “Never Text And Drive” Pledge

Lee Rannals for - Your Universe Online

AT&T is continuing its "Never Text and Drive" campaign by calling on drivers to sign a commitment to never do it again on September 19.

There have been over 800,000 car wrecks in the U.S. involving drivers using cell phones and texting so far in 2012, according to the National Safety Council estimates.

AT&T announced on Wednesday that it is calling on all drivers to go to take the no-texting-and-driving pledge.

"The pledge effort is part of the company´s public awareness campaign aimed directly at stopping the dangerous practice of texting while driving," AT&T wrote in a press release announcing the September 19 effort.

The National Safety Council predicts that over 100,000 times a year, people are injured or die during an automobile crash due to someone texting and driving.

Our goal is to save lives,” AT&T Chairman & CEO Randall Stephenson said in the press release. “I hear from far too many people whose lives have been forever changed by a texting-while-driving accident, and together, we want to spread the word about how deadly a single text can be. Texting and driving should be as unacceptable as drinking and driving."

“We´re challenging everyone to take the pledge to never text and drive and to make it a lifelong commitment,” he said. “And we´re challenging all device makers and app developers to offer devices that come pre-loaded with a no-text-and-drive technology solution.”

AT&T is encouraging its 240,000 employees to take the pledge, as well as for them to urge other people to commit that they will never text and drive.

The company also announced that it is working with TV and music celebrities to deliver a strong no-texting-while-driving message through TV ads, concerts, public appearance, Twitter and Facebook.

“Distracted driving is an epidemic on our roadways, and we need people all across America to take action in their communities to help put a stop to it," U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood said in a statement. "I applaud AT&T for taking on this issue with the 'It Can Wait' campaign, and I thank them for helping to spread the word that no text or email is worth the risk."

AT&T said it would be challenging device makers to work with it so all devices include pre-loaded, no-text-and-drive technology solutions.

A recent survey done by the phone carrier found that 97% of teens say they know that texting is dangerous, yet 75% said it is a "common" practice among their friends.

Eighty-nine percent of teens surveyed said they expect a reply to a text or email within five minutes or less. Teens aren't the only problems either, 77% of those surveyed said they had seen their parents text while driving.

“Working with teens day-in and day-out, we see firsthand the impacts that peer pressure — and peer influence — have on the decisions they make,” Sandra Spavone, executive director of the National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS), said in a press release. “That´s what makes AT&T´s efforts so effective. They understand that — by working with these teens and incorporating their feedback programmatically — ultimately, we´ll reach even more of that critical and impressionable audience with a message they´ll hear.”

AT&T said that 89% of teens said a phone app to prevent texting-and-driving would be an effective way to get them or their friends to stop doing it.