AT&T California Release: February 21, 2017

AT&T Brings Virtual Reality Simulator to Bishop O’Dowd High School

First of 50+ Events across California in 2017 to Educate on Dangers of Smartphone Distracted Driving

OAKLAND, FEBRUARY 21, 2017 — As part of the IT CAN WAIT campaign, AT&T* today joined with Bishop O'Dowd High School and Impact Teen Drivers for an all-school “Distracted Driving Day” to help educate students on the dangers of smartphone driving distractions.  The event is the first in a series of more than 50 the company will host across California this year to help raise awareness about smartphone distracted driving and encourage everyone to keep their eyes on the road, not on their phone.

Research from AT&T shows that 7-in-10 people engage in smartphone activities while driving.** To drive home the message, AT&T brought its virtual reality simulator to Bishop O’Dowd High School, allowing students to experience firsthand how dangerous it is to take their eyes off the road and glance at a phone.  The simulator was one of several activities during “Distracted Driving Day” at the school, which also included a What Do You Consider Lethal? assembly led by Impact Teen Drivers in collaboration with the California Highway Patrol.

“No text, email or social media post is worth a life,” said Ken McNeely, President, AT&T California. “This year, AT&T is bringing our virtual reality simulator to more than 50 schools, festivals and events across the state to remind everyone that distracted driving is not only extremely dangerous, it is completely preventable. We encourage everyone to take the It Can Wait pledge and help keep our roads safe.” 

“O’Dowd continually seeks to provide opportunities that encourage students’ health and wellness, and this program communicates a very important message about being a safe, responsible driver,” faculty member Mark Lederer said. A marriage and family therapist intern, Lederer heads O’Dowd’s Partners in Parenting Program.

“Today’s program which engages, educates, and empowers teens with the evidence-based strategies and the tools they need to make good decisions behind the wheel—whether as a driver or passenger—is an important part of making our roadways safer for everyone,” said Dr. Kelly Browning, Executive Director of Impact Teen Drivers. “It will take all of us to stop the number one killer of teens.”

IT CAN WAIT is a national movement urging drivers to keep their eyes on the road, not on their phones—distracted driving is never OK. The campaign began with a focus on not texting and driving. It has now expanded to the broader dangers of smartphone use behind the wheel.  Since its launch in 2010, the campaign has helped grow awareness of the dangers of smartphone distracted driving and inspired more than 15 million pledges to not drive distracted. To learn more, visit

Bishop O’Dowd High School is a Catholic, college-preparatory school located in Oakland, California, that educates its diverse student body to build a more just, joyful and sustainable world. The school draws it 1,200 students from throughout the East Bay and beyond, creating a dynamic environment that supports intellectual, moral and personal growth.    

Impact Teen Drivers was created through the collaborative efforts of the California Association of Highway Patrolmen, the California Teachers Association, and California Casualty to provide education among teens, parents, and communities about the dangers of reckless and distracted driving. For more information about Impact Teen Drivers, visit

* 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.

**Research commissioned by AT&T and conducted by Braun Research. Polled 2,067 people in the U.S. aged 16-65 who use their smartphone and drive at least once a day. Additional information available here.

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