Launched in 2010, AT&T’s It Can Wait campaign shares a simple message: Keep your eyes on the road, not on your phone. The campaign has evolved as smartphone driving distractions have grown beyond texting to include social media, web surfing, video chatting and more. Last summer, AT&T launched a nationwide virtual reality tour to help people understand that it’s not possible to drive safely while using a smartphone.
On-the-ground events, the campaign’s website, a virtual reality simulator and advertisements (30-second versions can be found on the website) are just some of the ways It Can Wait has spread the word about this effort and collected more than 8 million pledges. Anyone can pledge to keep your eyes on the road, not on your phone – and pass it on – here.
In addition, AT&T offers DriveMode®, a free mobile app for AT&T Android and iPhone users that silences message alerts and auto-replies when the recipient is driving to let friends and family know he or she can't respond. The campaign has resulted in more than millions of downloads of the app.
To learn more about the It Can Wait campaign, please visit www.ItCanWait.com.
GHSA and State Involvement
GHSA is proud to support the It Can Wait campaign. In 2016, GHSA is conducting outreach with its State Highway Safety Office (SHSO) members to showcase how states are – and can be – working with the It Can Wait program to raise even more awareness about this critical issue.
Past State Engagement Efforts
In 2014, more than 500 It Can Wait events and engagements took place around the country. Many of these events took place in September, leading up to the annual national day of action on September 19. These events and engagements included writing contests with high schools, statement of unity signings, social media engagement and more. As part of many of these events, AT&T brought a texting-while-driving simulator to 128 stops in 2014, which allowed nearly 8,000 people to experience the dangers of texting and driving first-hand.
These state engagement efforts are having a positive impact. A recent Department of Transportation study suggests a correlation between It Can Wait activities and an expected reduction in car crashes. Social media has the highest correlation to reduction. View the most recent published results here.
Due in large part to these efforts and the results, the It Can Wait campaign received the 2014 GHSA Peter K. O'Rourke Special Achievement Award for outstanding highway safety accomplishments during the previous year.
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:
Over the last few years, AT&T has worked with state and local officials to issue proclamations that recognize the dangers of smartphone use while driving. This includes those declaring April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month, deeming September 19 as Drive 4 Pledges Day, and creating It Can Wait Days, approved by mayors and governors around the country.
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.
June 2014: TxDOT Distracted Driving Summit
AT&T participated at the Texas Department of Transportation’s Distracted Driving Summit, where nearly 175 individuals from Texas corporations attended. Five victims’ families attended and one family shared their personal story during the Jennifer Smith’s (the head of the It Can Wait Speakers Bureau) closing remarks titled, “It Only Takes a Second.”
AT&T participated in the My Business Cares program, a program that gave small business owner or employee the opportunity to enter the “My Business Cares” sweepstakes – after taking the It Can Wait pledge – and nominate a local middle or high school for a chance to win a $1,000 donation from AT&T and an It Can Wait assembly event at their school. In Missouri, South Carolina and Arizona, AT&T hosted events attended by crash victims, local policymakers and influencers.
Events with Elected Officials
October 2014: Peter K. O’Rourke Award Acceptance at the Drive Studio
Harris Blackwood, Director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety of Georgia, presented AT&T with the Peter K. O’Rourke Special Achievement Award for the It Can Wait campaign at an event at the AT&T Drive Studio. Senator Steve Gooch, Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, and Representative Jay Roberts, Chair of the House Transportation Committee, spoke at the event.
September 2014: Annual Day of Action Event
Around the third annual day of action, on September 20, AT&T brought the It Can Wait to a University of Minnesota football game. At the event, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) gave remarks, signed the pledge and greeted attendees.
September 2014: Reintroducing a Statewide Ban
At and AT&T-hosted simulator event at the Petroleum Museum in Midland, TX, state representative Tom Craddick held a press conference where he announced his plans to reintroduce a texting and driving ban in the 2015 legislative session.