Documentary Emphasizes Dangers of Texting and Driving
As part of its “It Can Wait” media campaign, AT&T is introducing an 11-minute documentary emphasizing the risks of texting and driving. The film, which will be distributed to schools, safety organizations and government agencies will feature stories about people whose lives were adversely affected by texting behind the wheel.
“The Last Text” is a compilation of eight stories intended to reach consumers before New Year’s Eve, one of the most dangerous driving days of the year. The feature story is that of Arkansas teen Mariah West, who died after texting a friend on the day before her high school graduation.
The CTIA Wireless Association states that there has been a tenfold increase in text messaging over the last three years. According to a survey conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 26% of teens have texted while driving and 43% have made cell phone calls while behind the wheel.
US Department of Transportation statistics show that 5,500 people were killed last year because of distracted driving and the largest proportion of those fatalities was young people under the age of 20.
AT&T launched the “It Can Wait” promotion in March 2010. The goal is to educate all wireless users, but especially teen drivers, that there is a smart way to text. The message – “When it comes to texting and driving, it can wait.” The company encourages you to pull out your cell phone and read the last text you sent or received, then ask yourself, “Is that message worth dying for?”
Other companies are also promoting campaigns to end distracted driving, including Sprint, who partnered with The Oprah Winfrey Show for her "No Phone Zone" campaign.