The It Can Wait® Campaign
In 2010, AT&T launched the “Texting & Driving, It Can Wait” campaign with a simple message – when it comes to texting and driving, no text is worth a life… It Can Wait. Now, as the campaign moves into its 5th year, its message has evolved as smartphone driving distractions have grown beyond texting to social media, web surfing, video chatting and more. This summer, AT&T is launching a nationwide virtual reality tour to help people understand that it’s not possible to drive safely while using a smartphone, and is encouraging all drivers to keep your eyes on the road, not on your phone. To learn more about the It Can Wait campaign, please visit www.itcanwait.com.
The campaign’s website, on-the-ground events, texting and driving simulator and documentary are just some of the ways It Can Wait has spread the word about this effort and collected more than 5 million no-texting-while driving pledges.
In 2013, the It Can Wait campaign encompassed more than 4,000 activations around the country, many of which having occurred on the second annual national day of action on September 19. As part of these events, AT&T brought a texting-while-driving simulator to 287 stops in 2013, which allowed more than 26,000 people to experience the dangers of texting and driving first-hand.
Preliminary research in three state studies suggests these activities may be making a difference, showing a statistical correlation between sharing the message on social media, pledging to never text while driving, downloading an app and a projected reduction in crashes.
State Highway Safety Offices can get involved in many ways, including sharing the message on social media, writing op-eds or blog posts, hosting pledge challenges or pledge drives, holding It Can Wait events, giving presentations in schools and more.
Here are some examples of activities around the country working to spread the message that no text is worth a life:
AT&T worked with organizations to secure proclamations declaring April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month and September 19 as Drive 4 Pledges Day approved by mayors and governors around the country. Government officials also participated in proclamation reading events.
September 2013: Mayor’s Pledge Challenge
A mayor in a major west coast city announced he was leading a challenge to end texting and driving. The challenge ran from September through October, and the mayor recruited other mayors around the state to participate.
Distracted Driving Summits
May 2014: New York Distracted Driving Summit
AT&T participated in an event with StopDistractions.org, which drew approximately 100 in-person attendees and 150 online streaming viewers. AT&T New York President Marissa Shorenstein provided remarks and the event consisted of five panels, including one on It Can Wait. Other summits have occurred around the country.
Events with Mayors
September 2013: Drive 4 Pledges Day Event
A southwestern city mayor and local students came together to hear a victim’s story of her texting while driving crash, as well as drive the texting-while-driving simulator on the second annual It Can Wait day of action, Drive 4 Pledges Day.
Fall 2013: It Can Wait Campaign Initiative
Another southwestern city mayor created a citywide initiative to eliminate texting and driving. The initiative included a video contest. A total of 11 videos were submitted by students from high schools throughout the city. In addition, a local organization in the city held a watch party for the new It Can Wait documentary. The mayor and approximately 150 students from local high schools were in attendance at this event. After the documentary ended, the mayor took questions from the audience and from broadcast media outlets that attended the event.