Last week, AT&T launched an "It Can Wait" Campaign. Now this is not about whether or not you use their service, but are you willing to end the practice of texting while driving. This call to stop texting and driving is not a new one. Oprah launched a major initiative in 2010 challenging the nation starting with her own staff to end the use of mobile devices while driving. But Tom, it didn't seem to stick.
The increased number of drivers on US roads (over 196 million) coupled with the over 327 million mobile devices in the hands of US citizens has created a perfect storm, the results of which have been 100,000 texting related crashes a year. In the time it takes you to type LMAO or BRT your 23 times more likely to be in an accident. If that was not bad enough 75% of teens say texting and driving is common with them and their friends.
What I don't get is that we know its a problem. The AAA Foundation did a poll that showed 87% of responders believe that texting and driving is a VERY SERIOUS safety threat which is only 3% less than the 90% that said the same thing about drunk driving. If this real why is there not a movement? Sybil to you know what almost single handily changed how America looked at drunk driving? MADD. Mothers Against Drunk Driving was a movement that said not on our watch.
While many of us have problems demonizing texters the way we do drunk drivers, the results can be the same and the impairment caused by texting is actually worse. Let me break it down like this Car and Driver did a study that showed Unimpaired:
.54 seconds to brake
Legally drunk: add 4 feet
Reading e-mail: add 36 feet.
Sending a text: add 70 feet
Don't believe me. Ask those who have been disfigured, paralyzed, or the families of those who have lost loved ones to someone texting and driving. Will Smith's "Seven Pounds" illustrated the chilling reality of a man living with the pain of killing his loved ones.
Canada has banned cell phone use; in the UK you cant even use mobile devices at stop lights and in the US almost all states have or are working on policy. But legislation is just that and we have to change attitudes and behavior. It is NOT OK to text and drive….It IS A BIG DEAL…..IT CAN WAIT. Accidents – Injuries – Paralysis and DEATH. They can all wait. So Spouses/partners challenge your boo, Parents, your babies and young People, your peers to join the movement at www.itcanwait.org. Get 20 twitter, facebook followers or family members to take the pledge with you.
All we have to do is hang up or switch off. It really is that simple. Once we do that, not another son or daughter will have to die because someone was on the phone and behind the wheel—and just not paying attention. – Oprah
Stop texting and Driving Family – THEIR TOUCH MEANS MORE THAN THAT TEXT