it-can-wait_6Summer months bring a higher death rate for teen drivers.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the summer months of June, July, and August consistently have higher teenage crash deaths than any other month.

Distracted driving doesn’t discriminate — no one is immune to being hit by a person that is texting or reading an email. No one is so good at live-streaming that they should be driving at the same time.

No one wants to become a headline or a statistic this way. No one wants to make a call to a parent or family member to share the news of a lost loved one due to a digital addiction.

With Memorial weekend ahead of us and summer approaching we will have more cars on the road and youth driving among them. It’s imperative we learn skills to detach from our devices while operating our motor vehicles. Lives, and maybe our own, depend on it.

We used to talk constantly about drinking and driving, and this shouldn’t stop, however just as serious is distracted driving.

What can be confusing is that it isn’t only texting and driving (which is commonly discussed), we are distracted by many bells, beeps and whistles on our phone. From alerts from Facebook, an email arriving to beep letting you know a video is ready — there are many sounds that arrive from your device that are distracting and can take your eyes off the road.

The #ItCanWait Pledge is to help you keep your eyes on the road — and off your phone.

Mitch Jackson, a dedicated advocate against distracted driving, as well as a renown attorney for over thirty years, has made it his mission bring a new awareness to those that believe they have the ability to drive while using their devices.

His his recent article titled (a must read), Why It’s Socially Responsible To “Out” Habitual Distracted Drivers, Jackson explains that distracted driving is similar to drunk driving (yet we aren’t recognizing it in the same light — yet).

An interesting point (and there are many) was that even if you are talking on blue-tooth, studies have proven you are not giving your full attention to the road.

Regardless of what the laws in each state are, studies from around the world have unequivocally determined that any use of mobile while driving is distracted driving. This includes the use of hands-free devices.

Being a drunk or distracted driver is a choice. It’s a decision to act recklessly which exposes innocent people other than yourself, to harm and death. – Mitch Jackson

The statistics for drunk driving and distracted driving are disturbing. Read his article to get the details, what’s most important is how we, as a nation, can turn this around.

Education is key to prevention.

Changing your habits may not be easy – but necessary. Let’s not fool ourselves, more studies are telling us that digital addiction is becoming a reality.  That means that not only teens are guilty of not being able to unplug in the car — parents and adults are staying connected too. This has to change.

Everyone has to understand they are a role model to someone. Whether it’s a child, niece, nephew, neighbor or even someone in your office that looks up to you — you must always lead by example. The last thing you would want to hear is that a person said they did something because you always were doing it and you were their mentor.

Talk to your teens often about distracted driving. This isn’t a conversation that is once or twice. It’s one that you have frequently, don’t wait for a news headline.

Sock it in a pocket-case. Consider buying a cell phone pocket-case (maybe just a freebie you received at a trade show) that can go into your glove box.  Maybe it’s a pretty make-up case (you know all those free ones you get at the counters when you purchase  your make-up?) Girls would love it! Tell them it stays in the car – and their phone is turned off and goes in the case while they are driving. Having the case deflects them from wanting to even glance at it. Seriously — digital addiction is becoming a concern among youth.

Don’t hesitate in watching YouTube videos about distracted driving together. The more you know, the more they will understand the risks that are involved. AT&T #ItCanWait and have libraries of videos to share.  Encourage them to send them to their friends and post them on their social media platforms. Let’s have a summer safety platform.

One of the most comprehensive sites on distracted driving is

Thousands of people have been killed by distracted drivers; hundreds of thousands more injured. Research shows that talking on a cell phone quadruples your risk of an accident (about the same as drunk driving). That risk doubles again, if you are texting. You can help stop distracted driving. –

Visit it, read it, share it. Be an educated parent, aunt, uncle, grandparent – community resident.

We will start having safer roadways.

Also read:

Summer Months Brings Higher Death Rate for Teen Drivers