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Texting and driving: It Can Wait

Published: Sunday, April 7, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

It’s National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and AT&T is calling on employers to help end texting while driving.

According to recent surveys conducted for AT&T by ResarchNow and Beck Research, nearly half of commuters self-reported texting, and 43 percent of those who did called it a “habit.”

Commuters are texting and driving even more than teens – 49 percent, compared to 43 percent. And the problem has gotten worse. Six in 10 commuters say they never texted while driving three years ago.

So while efforts to raise awareness of the dangers of texting while driving are working – 98 percent of commuters surveyed said they know sending a text or email while driving isn’t safe – there’s clearly more work to be done to change behaviors.

Survey sponsor AT&T is calling on employers to join the more than 165 organizations already engaged in the Texting & Driving – It Can Wait program, and to use the policies, technologies and communications materials available free at att.com/itcanwait to help move their employees beyond being aware of the danger to making a personal commitment not to text and drive.

“Businesses can help keep their employees and others on the road safe by encouraging responsible behavior behind the wheel, including obeying all laws related to the use of electronic devices,” said U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue. “We also encourage all businesses to consider joining the It Can Wait movement to end texting while driving. Together we can help turn the tide on this serious issue.”

Through It Can Wait, AT&T has reached millions with the insight that most text messages are trivial, and no text is worth dying for. It has made the dangers of texting and driving real and personal by giving thousands of people hands-on experience with driving simulators and sharing the heart-wrenching stories of people whose lives have been forever changed by texting-while-driving accidents. More than 1.3 million personal commitments never to text and drive have been made at ItCanWait.com, through Facebook, text-to-pledge, tweet-to-pledge or at events.

“Through the It Can Wait movement, AT&T is collaborating with employers, nonprofits, law enforcement, educators, legislators, professional associations and government agencies nationwide,” said AT&T Senior Executive Vice President and Global Marketing Officer Cathy Coughlin. “I’m confident, together we can save lives by encouraging millions more to make the personal commitment never to text and drive.”

For more information, visit www.ItCanWait.com.

• Email ccashman@shawmedia.com

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