Promoting Safe Roads in April and All Year

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and traffic safety leaders are promoting safe driving in communities across the country. In California, the week of April 3-9, 2017, is also California Teen Safe Driver Week -- an observance created by the California Highway Patrol (CHP), the Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) and Impact Teen Drivers (ITD) out of concern that teens are among the drivers most likely to be distracted behind the wheel.

AT&T has long shared the concerns of traffic safety leaders and first responders, and we are teaming up with CHP, OTS, ITD and law enforcement agencies throughout the state to help raise awareness about the dangers of texting while driving, sending email, using social media and all other smartphone distractions behind the wheel. According to AT&T’s research, as many as 7-in-10 people engage in smartphone activities while driving.[i]

To help drive home the message, and show teens firsthand the dangers of using a smartphone while driving, AT&T is bringing our IT CAN WAIT virtual reality simulator to high schools across the state during California Teen Safe Driving Week and to more than 50 communities across California this year. April’s educational events will also include safety presentations and demonstrations from law enforcement personnel and aim to help change motorist behaviors and save lives.

National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and California Teen Safe Driving Week are important observances to help raise awareness about distracted driving. However, to truly change motorist behavior, we all must make a commitment to help keep our roads safe and honor that commitment year-round.

AT&T is proud of the commitments our company has made to help put an end to distracted driving. As an employer, with over 35,000 employees statewide, we have adopted strict policies prohibiting smartphone use while driving on company business. For drivers, we launched the FREE “no-texting-while-driving” DriveMode App® and continue to challenge device makers to include pre-loaded safe driving applications.

Policies can also play a role in boosting traffic safety. As an advocate, AT&T has supported bans on smartphone use while driving here in California and across the country. We also continue to educate everyone about the dangers of distracted driving through IT CAN WAIT, which has evolved from a campaign to end texting while driving, into a movement discouraging all forms of smartphone distracted driving and generating more than 15 million pledges – and counting - to never drive distracted.

This April, AT&T encourages everyone to join us and the many public safety champions and first responders who are working to keep our roads safe by taking the IT CAN WAIT pledge and pass it on! Together, we can all help keep our roads safe and communities safe.

[i] 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.

Ken McNeely is President – AT&T Western Region, overseeing 19 Western states, including California, after serving as AT&T California President for more than 13 years.

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