By: Mike DeWitt
It only takes one second, one glance down at your phone, to completely change a life. As technology and social networks continually innovate the way we communicate, they constantly vie for our attention throughout the day. Even when driving a car, a metal box hurling down the freeway at deadly speeds, it can be tempting to stay engaged to our social circles around us.
Back in 2010, AT&T created the It Can Wait campaign: a strong and simple message to put down your cell phone while driving. Now, in response to a recent findings on distracted driving, AT&T has shifted their campaign to reach U.S. Hispanics – Puede Esperar.
Puede Esperar is a direct response to new research that found 83 percent of Hispanics admitting to using their smartphone behind the wheel. That number is higher than an already staggering 71 percent of Americans as a whole that admit to distracted driving. Of that 83 percent, half admit to using their smartphone to social network while driving, more than a quarter (28%) take selfies or photos, and nearly 70 percent send texts messages.
The Puede Esperar campaign focuses on education and practical tools to help combat distracted driving. The campaign includes:
• The AT&T DriveMode app is now available in Spanish and open to all carriers. The app helps curb the urge to text and drive by silencing incoming text messages once the car reaches 15 MPH.
• A 360-degree video experience that simulates the potentially deadly consequences of glancing at your phone while driving. The video can be viewed on your smartphone.
• A coast-to-coast virtual reality tour visiting local high schools and community events in more than a dozen cities by year-end.
While the most recent campaign focuses on reaching the Hispanic population, it’s a problem that everyone needs to address.
“Now more than ever we need to focus on those who put themselves at high risk behind the wheel,” said Sandra Howard of AT&T. “We want them to know the dangers and take the pledge. Ultimately, we want them to keep their eyes on the road, not on their phones.”
Since the original campaign launched in 2010, It Can Wait has helped grow awareness of the dangers of distracted driving, inspired more than 8 million pledges to keep their eyes off their phones and on the road, and collaborated with AT&T data scientists on research that shows the impact statewide anti-texting laws have on the rates of texting while driving.
Remember, that text, snapchat, photo, tweet, and instagram post isn’t worth a life. Put away your cell phones and focus on the road ahead.