PROVIDENCE, R.I., May 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- AT&T* New England today is urging all Rhode Island drivers to pledge never to text and drive.
AT&T's New England team is educating drivers across the region on the dangers of texting while driving, and urging them to take AT&T's "Txting & Drving: It Can Wait" pledge never to text and drive.
The team has set a goal of gathering 500,000 pledges across all six New England states by the end of the year.
Taking the pledge is easy: Visit any of the company's retail locations to take the pledge on an AT&T tablet or take the pledge online from your own smartphone, tablet or computer.
AT&T's "It Can Wait" public awareness campaign is focused on a simple, powerful message: No text is worth dying for. More than 100,000 times each year, an automobile crashes and people are injured or die while a driver was texting and driving, according to the National Safety Council1. Drivers who text while driving are 23 times more likely to be in an accident.
"Our goal is to save lives," said Steve Krom, vice president and general manager, AT&T New England. "We want to spread the word about how deadly a single text can be and encourage all New Englanders to pledge never to text and drive."
AT&T has brought its It Can Wait awareness programs to more than 5,000 students in 17 schools across Rhode Island, in partnership with the Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin and the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT).
"The response from students and teachers to the It Can Wait video and discussion has been terrific," said Attorney General Kilmartin. "I commend AT&T for its continued commitment to get all drivers, no matter of age, to understand the deadly dangers of texting and driving and to take the pledge to never text and drive."
"Partnering with AT&T and Attorney General Kilmartin through this unique program has been extremely valuable as we work to tackle the dangers of texting and driving on our roadways," said RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis. "We will continue to do all we can to help spread the important message to not text and drive."
Nearly half of commuters self-reported texting while driving in a recent poll sponsored by AT&T2, and 43% of those who did called it a "habit." And the problem has gotten worse: Six in 10 commuters say they never texted while driving three years ago.
Texting while driving remains a concern with younger drivers, too. An AT&T survey3 found that 97 percent of teens say they know that texting is dangerous, but 75 percent of teens surveyed said that texting while driving is "common" among their friends.
"While important progress has been made in raising awareness of the dangers of texting and driving, we've still got more work to do," said Patricia Jacobs, president, AT&T New England. "Our aim at AT&T is to make texting and driving as socially unacceptable as drinking and driving."
The pledge drive is part of AT&T New England's continuing commitment to its communities. Through its Aspire Mentoring Academy, AT&T has pledged to mentor students at 120 schools across New England.
1 National Safety Council www.nsc.org
2Commuter survey conducted by ResearchNow on behalf of AT&T http://www.att.com/Common/about_us/pdf/twd_commutor_survey.pdf
3Teen survey conducted by Beck Research on behalf of AT&T http://www.att.com/Common/about_us/txting_driving/att_teen_survey_executive.pdf
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