AT&T is gearing up for a refresh of its It Can Wait program in advance of the new school year. It Can Wait is an initiative aimed at discouraging texting while driving, which has become endemic for teenagers and adults alike.
AT&T is encouraging everyone willing to listen to take a lifetime pledge to never text while driving. You’ll also see television and social media campaigns for the program, while AT&T’s car-based simulator will also return for another tour of duty. That simulator, which will also be available online this year, mimics the conditions drivers put themselves in when they look down to text while behind the wheel.
We spoke with Charlene Lake, Sr. Vice President Public Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer at AT&T and she explained that the program is going to “Make some people feel uncomfortable”, but that is the whole point. Charlene also said that there are over 100,000 car accidents a year that are caused by texting and driving. So AT&T is asking people to look at their last text message and think to themselves? Is that text worth losing a life over. She explained that research has shown that performing this simple action can be an affective way for people to start taking action.
“We’re going to make some people feel uncomfortable.”
AT&T will be working with high schools across the country, both to bring their simulator to teenagers and to provide school administrations with educational material about the risks of texting while driving, backed up by a healthy dose of sobering statistics. AT&T is also asking drivers to download their DriveMode app which helps drivers keep their hands on the wheel while on the road.
It’s worth mentioning that, though the program is directed at teens, adults should be paying attention just as much. An AT&T survey found that 77% of teenagers have seen their parents text while driving – it’s not just those darn kids that are causing havoc on the road.