Distracted Driving Awareness Month: Paying It Forward
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. A time when we should all take a moment to remind each other that it’s never okay to double task while driving.
It’s as simple as a glance.
Distracted driving is NEVER OK. You’re never alone on the road, even when you’re alone in your car. That’s the simple message behind AT&T’s IT CAN WAIT campaign against distracted driving. Research by AT&T shows smartphone distractions behind the wheel have grown beyond texting to social media, web surfing, selfies, and video chatting. With Distracted Driving Awareness Month beginning April 1, AT&T is urging you to take the IT CAN WAIT pledge.
Here is what AT&T has learned through its research:
Power of a Pledge:
- More than 14.2 million people have taken the IT CAN WAIT pledge, and 2016 research shows pledging matters and makes a difference.
- According to the findings, almost half of people who pledged said they now don’t use their smartphones while driving.
- Those who share their promise or pledge with others are even more likely to stop, and more likely to speak up to others.
o 4-in-10 asked a friend or family member to not use their smartphone while driving.
o One-third asked a driver to not use their smartphone while driving when riding as a passenger.
o 4-in-10 asked a passenger to operate their smartphone while they are driving.
You’re Never Alone on the Road:
- 2016 research shows that only 36% of drivers look at their smartphone with passengers in the car, compared to more than 6-in-10 (64%) without a passenger.
- People look at their phone even less when the passenger is a child.
- AT&T created a powerful PSA in 2016 to drive home the “You’re never alone on the road” message. You can view it at https://www.itcanwait.com/videos .
- For 1-in-3 drivers distracted driving is a habit.
- Habitual distracted drivers have a false sense of security in their actions. Only 58% feel that using their smartphone behind the wheel is “very dangerous,” compared to 78% of non-habitual distracted drivers. Ironically, they’re also twice as likely to have been involved in a near crash or a collision.
Smartphone Distracted Driving Stats:
- 7-in-10 people engage in smartphone activities while driving.
- 62% keep their smartphones within easy reach while driving.
- Nearly 4-in-10 smartphone users tap into social media while driving. Almost 3-in-10 surf the net. And 1-in-10 video chat!
- Facebook tops the social platform list — more than a quarter of those polled use the app while driving. About 1-in-7 said they’re on Twitter behind the wheel. 30% of those who post to Twitter while driving do it “all the time.”
- 22% who access social networks while driving cite addiction as a reason.
- Of those who shoot videos behind the wheel, 27% think they can do it safely while driving.
- Smartphone activities people do while driving:
– Text (61%)
– Email (33%)
– Surf the net (28%)
– Facebook (27%)
– Snap a selfie/photo (17%)
– Twitter (14%)
– Instagram (14%)
– Shoot a video (12%)
– Snapchat (11%)
– Video chat (10%)
- AT&T DriveMode is free to customers of all wireless carriers for iPhone and Android users.
- It is now available in Spanish.
- It helps curb the urge to text and drive by silencing incoming text messages.
- Its auto mode feature automatically turns on the app when you reach 15 MPH and turns it off after you stop.
- AT&T DriveMode can help keep young drivers safe by sending a message to a parent if the app is turned off.
- The campaign has resulted in more than 5 million downloads of the app.
AT&T launched IT CAN WAIT in 2010. Since then, many celebrities have joined the cause to deliver the message via TV ads, concerts, public appearances, Twitter and Facebook.
AT&T’s aggressive social media campaign encourages people to share the #ItCanWait message with friends and follow the @ItCanWait Twitter handle.
The company has also added a virtual reality experience component to the campaign to show the potentially deadly consequences of glancing at your smartphone while driving. You can download the free AT&T VR app and buy Google Cardboard at www.ItCanWait.com/VR to use with your smartphone to experience the IT CAN WAIT driving simulation.
How will you celebrate Distracted Driving month?
You can start by paying it forward…. share this post with a friend or family member. Remind them that distracted driving kills. It’s just as dangerous as drunk driving – and hopefully someday it will be taken as serious as driving while intoxicated. #ItCanWait.