AT&T Taking Virtual ‘It Can Wait App’ To High School Students

The dangers of texting and driving has been well documented by media the last five years. I have discussed the topic on this blog dozens of times. I have opined again and again that the penalties for texting and driving should be increased, especially in the instance where there is an injured party. The reasoning is similar to the drunk driving laws some thirty years ago. The penalties for drinking and driving for a long time in most states were the equivalent to a slap on the wrist. It wasn’t until interest groups pressured lawmakers to increase penalties, did we finally see heftier fines and jail time for drinking and driving throughout every state. Safety advocates have been pushing for the same changes to texting and driving laws.

I have to hand it to AT&T for their recent efforts to prevent texting and driving. Their “It Can Wait” campaign, which can be found all over television and social media has been incredibly effective. Further, AT&T is now going into schools and showing students first-hand the dangers of texting and driving.  The new app ‘It Can Wait” takes students on a 3D virtual reality tour of the dangers that can occur from looking at a cell phone while driving. The app “It Can Wait” can be downloaded on all IOS and Android phones. The virtual app reveals just how dangerous texting and driving is, and more importantly how quickly drivers can lose control of their vehicle when they look at their phone just for a second. I applaud AT&T for putting their money where their mouth is. This company reaps millions in profits for selling their services and smart phones, but at the same time is making a concerted effort to show how dangerous their devices can be if not used properly.

Click here to view what teen drivers are seeing through the virtual app.

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Major Cell Phone Providers Join Together For Anti-Texting And Driving Campaign

AT&T is stepping up
to plate again to campaign against texting and driving. As I have written here
in the past, AT&T has launched campaigns before on this issue, but this
time they are being joined by other major carriers such as Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile US, Inc. and more than 200
other organizations. As ABC News in Chicago reported this week, the new
campaign is titled “It Can Wait.” The
 new national advertising campaign, a nationwide
texting-while-driving simulator tour, retail presence in tens of thousands of
stores, and outreach to millions of consumers with a special focus throughout
the summer months between Memorial Day and Labor Day-known as the 100 Deadliest
Days on the roads for teen drivers.1 The 2013 campaign drive will culminate on
Sept. 19, when efforts turn towards encouraging everyone to get out in their
community and advocate involvement on behalf of the movement.

The
campaign kicks off May 20, with AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile bringing
a multi-million dollar, co-branded advertising campaign to raise awareness of
the dangers of texting and driving, and encouraging everyone to immediately
take the pledge against it at www.itcanwait.com www.itcanwait.com. The
campaign will focus on the stories of people who are living with the
consequences of texting while driving. Their stories will be told through
various media including TV, radio, digital and social. The first story in the
campaign will be of Xzavier Davis-Bilbo, who in 2010 at five-years-old, was
struck while crossing the street by a young woman texting while driving-leaving
him paralyzed from the waist down.

Also,
government agencies including the U.S. Department of Transportation, National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration and National Transportation Safety Board
have all committed to help end distracted driving and support the efforts of It
Can Wait and others who are working to raise awareness.

This is
the first time that all the cell phone carriers have joined together and
focused on this issue with one major advertising campaign. I think they need to
applauded as we all know texting and driving is a major issue in this country.
But, I will state again, the danger of texting and driving will not go away
until stricter laws are enacted by individual states. Specifically, there need
to be higher fines when someone is caught texting and driving. If someone is
injured in a car accident where it can shown that texting and driving was the
cause, then there needs to be the threat of jail time. In other words, the
charge needs to be raised to a misdemeanor (Class A in Illinois), similar to a
DUI.

If you
or someone you love has been involved in a Chicago car crash or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury attorney Aaron Bryant for a free legal consultation at 312-588-3384. 

AT&T Launches Phone App To Prevent Texting And Driving

The last few years there
has been a plethora of studies, new laws, public and media outrage regarding
the dangers of texting and driving. Finally, some of the major cell phone
providers are stepping up to the plate in an effort to try to prevent texting and
driving. NBC Chicago reported this week that AT&T is launching a new app
called “it can wait”, which allows users to put their phones in drive
mode which sends an automatic reply to text messages and emails stating that
the user is driving. 

If you
just can’t miss an important call there is an option to allow up to five
programmed numbers ring through. Unfortunately it is not available for iPhones,
only Android and BlackBerry platforms. “It makes everybody think about
what’s going on and hopefully becomes infectious and creates a behavior,”
AT&T Illinois President, Paul La Schiazza said. Illinois Lieutenant
Governor Sheila Simon has taken the pledge as well and stated, “What we
need to do is make that cultural change where we let people know we’re not
going do it. And we let our children know we’re not going do it and we
demonstrate it. “

This is a positive sign that major phone carriers are taking responsibility and
doing what they can to prevent texting and driving. It will be interesting to
see what other phone carriers do as well and if there is more extensive
technology to come in the future, which requires all phones go into drive mode.

If you or someone you love has
been injured in a Chicago car crash or Chicago truck accident, then call
Chicago personal injury lawyer Aaron Bryant for a free consultation at
312-588-3384 to discuss your case. 

AT&T Chief Executive Speaks Out Against Texting & Driving

Unless you are living
under a rock, it would be hard to miss out on all of the anti texting and
driving campaigning that has been going on. There have been multiple public
service announcements on TV, multiple articles (and blogs) written and most
states (39 total) have outlawed the practice. Recently, and I think
importantly, the heads of the major telecommunications companies have been
speaking out. Specifically, Randall Stephenson, the CEO of AT&T discussed
the subject at the outset of a speech in front of investors at a conference on
the state of the telecommunications business.

The New York
Times
 reported that Stephenson began his speech before hundreds of
people by stating that there must be a change regarding the use of phones in
cars. “the Smartphone is a product we sell
and it’s being used inappropriately. We have got to drive behavior.”  He
went on to state that since he has gone public on this issue he has had to curb
his own practice of using the phone in the car. “When I went public, I
told my wife: ‘You know what this means? I can no longer touch this 
iPhone or BlackBerry in the car.’ ” He puts his
devices in a cup holder and silences them. “It was a habit I had to break.”

This is
a small step but still meaningful. It must be pointed out the AT&T and
other cell phone companies only recently stopped their lobby against the
curbing of cell phone use in cars.  This was a significant move on these
companies part, but real progress will take place when they actually put their
money where their mouth is and join the lobby towards approving cell phone and
driving laws.

If you
or someone you love has been injured in a Chicago car accident or Chicago truckaccident, then call Chicago personal injury attorney, Aaron Bryant, for a freeconsultation at 312-588-3384 or go to the firm website at www.blgchicago.com.
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