With Prom, Graduation, And Summer Season Starting, May Starts '100 Deadliest Days' On The Road For Teen Drivers
AT&T'S "IT CAN WAIT" AWARENESS CAMPAIGN HAS REACHED 10,000 MASSACHUSETTS STUDENTS IN JUST THE LAST YEAR
BOSTON, May 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- With the release of a new national survey, AT&T* is continuing to spread the word about the dangers of texting and driving as part of its "It Can Wait" campaign in Massachusetts and across the country.
Since its Massachusetts "It Can Wait" campaign launch in April 2011, AT&T has joined local law enforcement and elected officials to bring awareness of the dangers of distracted driving in presentations at more than a dozen high schools across Massachusetts, including those in Malden, Woburn, Lexington, Lynn, Salem, Westford, Framingham, Haverhill, Somerville, and Williamstown. In all, AT&T's "It Can Wait" presentation has reached approximately 10,000 students in Massachusetts – many of whom signed pledges not to text and drive.
"Memorial Day is the beginning of the 100 deadliest days of the year for teen drivers, and dangerous behavior like texting and driving is a contributing factor," said Patricia Jacobs, president of AT&T in New England. "While we are proud of the work we've put into spreading the word to teens across Massachusetts about the dangers of texting and driving, more remains to be done. As our new study indicates, while teens know that texting and driving is dangerous, far too many of them admit that they are still doing it anyway."
AT&T's survey found that while 97 percent of teens know texting while driving is dangerous, 43 percent of them admit to sending a text while driving – and 75 percent say the practice is common among their friends. The survey found that teenagers feel pressure to quickly respond to text messages – and adults are also setting a poor example by texting while driving themselves.
With prom, graduation and summer nearing, we head into the "100 deadliest days" for teen drivers on the road – the days between Memorial Day and Labor Day.(1) Texting also ranks as the No. 1 mode of communication among teens.(2) On average, teens text five times more a day than a typical adult.(3) When this habit hits the road, drivers who text are 23 times more likely to be in an accident or near-accident.(4)
Highlights of the AT&T Teen Driver Survey:
- Peer Pressure: Almost all teens (89 percent) expect a reply to a text or email within five minutes or less.
- Knowledge but Little Action: 75 percent of teens say texting while driving is very dangerous – but 43 percent admit to doing so.
- "Gateway" Dangers: 70 percent of teens believe texting while stopped at a red light is dangerous.
- Still, 60 percent of teens admit to texting at a red light and 73 percent admit to glancing at their phone at a red light.
- 61 percent of teens say they glance at their phone while driving, and 61 percent have seen their friends read or send an email, or text, while driving.
- Learning by Example: According to 77 percent of teens, adults tell kids not to text while driving – yet adults do it themselves "all the time."
- 41 percent of teens report seeing their parents read or send an email, or text, while driving.
- Still, 89 percent of teenagers say their own parents are good role models in terms of not texting while driving.
- And, 62 percent of teens feel that getting reminders from their own parents not to text and drive would be effective in getting them or their friends to stop texting and driving.
- Minority Disparities: Hispanic teens (54 percent) are more likely to admit to the practice of texting while driving than Caucasian (41 percent) and African-American (42 percent) teens.
- Hispanic teens (52 percent) also are more likely to report seeing their parents text while driving, compared to 38 percent of Caucasian teens and 44 percent of African-American teens who reported seeing their parents text while driving.
- What Helps Lessen the Urge: 89 percent of teens said a phone app to prevent texting & driving – like AT&T DriveMode(TM) – would be an effective way to get them or their friends to stop texting and driving. AT&T DriveMode(TM) provides a customizable auto-reply message notifying friends that the user is driving and will respond when it is safe.
AT&T'S COMMITMENT TO EDUCATION ON THE SUBJECT
Last week, AT&T received National Organizations for Youth Safety's 2012 Youth Choice Award for ongoing efforts and working with teens to address the issue of texting while driving.
Nearly 3 million people have watched AT&T's powerful 10-minute documentary, "The Last Text," which features real stories of individual lives that have been drastically altered – or even ended – because of texting while driving.
In 2011, AT&T committed a four-year series of contributions totaling $1 million to help educate the public and spread the word about the campaign. This builds on 2010 contributions of $250,000 to nonprofit youth safety organizations to support the cause. AT&T has also created and maintained an online resource center that offers downloadable educational resources, such as pledges, posters and PSAs.
For additional information on AT&T's "It Can Wait" campaign, please visit www.att.com/itcanwait.
(3) Virginia Tech Transportation Institute Research: www.vtti.vt.edu
(4) Virginia Tech Transportation Institute Research: www.vtti.vt.edu
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