CHARLOTTE, N.C., Sept. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- AT&T* today was joined by N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper and UNC Charlotte Chancellor Philip L. Dubois to focus attention on a dangerous practice that puts millions of Americans at risk: texting while driving.
To drive home the message and help make our roads and highways safer, the University hosted AT&T's virtual reality simulator at the Student Union, enabling students, faculty and staff to experience firsthand the dangers of texting and driving.
"Texting while driving is unnecessary, illegal, and most of all dangerous for you and everyone else on the road," said Attorney General Cooper. "Let's join together and commit never to text while driving."
Launched four years ago by AT&T, the It Can Wait® campaign now engages more than 200 advocates nationwide and continues to gain momentum as consumers increasingly come to understand the risks which accompany texting while driving. In May, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon announced they were joining with AT&T in a concerted effort to encourage consumers to use wireless devices safely.
Dubois announced that UNC Charlotte is the first North Carolina university to join the It Can Wait movement, signing on as an advocate alongside North Carolina organizations that include the North Carolina Driver and Traffic Safety Education Association, the North Carolina Department of Transportation and the Carolina Panthers.
"At UNC Charlotte, we are committed to making a lasting difference in our students' lives and serving our community," Dubois said. "Usually we focus on academic achievement, personal growth, and setting goals for the future, but nothing is more important than student safety. So I am excited about a program that saves lives, here in North Carolina and across the country."
Recently, the campaign released a new documentary film entitled From One Second To The Next. Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Werner Herzog, it shows the aftermath of texting and driving. Told through interviews of family members of texting victims, and of drivers whose one second of inattention caused fatal crashes, the film delivers a simple message: No text is worth a life.
"The wireless technology we offer at AT&T is capable of amazing things, but it has to be used responsibly," said Venessa Harrison, President of AT&T-North Carolina. "That's why we are working to make texting and driving as unacceptable as drinking and driving and why we encourage customers to download and use applications like AT&T DriveModeTM 1."
DriveMode® curbs the urge to text. When enabled and the vehicle is moving 25 mph, the app automatically sends a customizable auto-reply message to incoming texts, letting your friends know you're behind the wheel and will reply when it's safe.
Texting while driving is an epidemic, and it's not isolated to teen drivers. It affects adults as well. A recent AT&T survey shows business commuters know texting while driving is unsafe, but they still engage in these behaviors. In fact:
- They are texting and driving more than they used to.
- Six in 10 commuters said they never texted while driving three years ago.
- Nearly half of commuters admit to texting while driving, which is more than teens.
- 49 percent of commuters self-report texting while driving, compared to 43 percent of teens2.
- Despite knowing the risks.
- 98 percent said sending a text or email while driving isn't safe.
- For many, it has become a habit.
- More than 40 percent of those who admitted to texting while driving called it a habit.3
*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.
1 Data and text messaging charges may apply for download and app usage. Standard messaging rates apply to auto-reply messages. AT&T DriveMode is free to AT&T customers only. Compatible device required.
2 Teen survey conducted by Beck Research on behalf of AT&T http://www.att.com/Common/about_us/txting_driving/att_teen_survey_executive.pdf
3 Commuter survey conducted by ResearchNow on behalf of AT&T http://www.att.com/Common/about_us/pdf/twd_commutor_survey.pdf
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SOURCE AT&T Inc.