Officials Declare No Texting While Driving Day
AT&T and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors teamed up to promote the "It Can Wait-- No Texting While Driving Day" to remind teen drivers that people who text while driving are 23 times more likely to get in a car crash.
The campaign highlights the dangers of texting behind the wheel and gives teens and parents multiple ways to prevent technology from distracting drivers.
"Text messaging is the main mode of communication for most American teenagers, with half of all teens sending between 21 and 70 texts a day," Supervisor Antonovich said.
"In an AT&T survey, 43 percent of American teenage drivers admitted to texting while driving, even though 97 percent know it is dangerous."
The “It Can Wait” campaign asks drivers to make a lifelong pledge not to text while driving.
Despite laws in California banning texting while driving, over 100,000 car crashes caused by texting occur each year. There are laws against texting in 38 other states including the District of Columbia, and bans for new drivers or bus drivers exist in five other states according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Teens aren’t the only ones to blame for texting while driving. A survey done by Liberty Mutual Insurance found that fathers tend to text the most behind the wheel. In a survey hosted by AT&T, 75 percent of teens said that their parents text all the time while driving.
AT&T is now using technology to help lower the number of people who text while driving. They are developing a driver safety app for iPads which allows parents to turn off voice and text transmission on their children's cell phones while they’re behind the wheel. This also includes controlling messages and notifications from social networking apps.
“Driving Safety” will provide parents with a real time monitoring system that allows them to track their child’s driving behavior, use data analysis to map their child’s style of driving, and determine their level of risk. It also notifies the parents via email for excessive speeding, and lets parents know if their child is trying to send a text or call.
Through the “It Can Wait” campaign, AT&T is now marketing their newest app called “Drive Mode” which allows drivers to block incoming calls and messages so they don’t feel tempted to use their phones. The app provides an “out of the office” type reply for people trying to contact you while driving.
AT&T said it hopes to provide a software development kit for app developers to create services including road assistance, accident management, theft management, and car maintenance to keep drivers safe.