If speaking up about the dangers of texting and driving could save a life, would you do it? With preliminary research suggesting a positive statistical correlation between people sharing the Texting & Driving…It Can Wait message and a projected reduction in crashes, there’s more reason than ever to take action.

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More than 1,500 organizations and 50,000 individuals have joined the It Can Wait movement. Working together, we’ve inspired more than 4 million pledges never to text and drive, more than half a million It Can Wait tweets, and hundreds of thousands of downloads of AT&T DriveMode® and other apps that block texts to drivers.

We wondered if all that activity was making the difference we want to see – fewer texting-while-driving crashes.

We found a positive statistical correlation between It Can Wait campaign activities and a projected reduction in crashes, with social media sharing, pledging and downloading an app having the most apparent impact.

So we took several years of crash data from Florida, Illinois and Texas and projected from that the number of crashes that would have been expected during a one-year period from June 2012 to May 2013. We built a statistical model that correlated specific It Can Wait campaign activities with the actual number of crashes day-by-day during that period.

We found a positive statistical correlation between It Can Wait campaign activities and a projected reduction in crashes, with social media sharing, pledging and downloading an app having the most apparent impact.

Sharing the It Can Wait message through social media had the highest apparent correlation to crash reductions, supporting earlier AT&T-sponsored research that showed a word from a friend can be a powerful influence on someone’s decision not to text and drive.  Twitter, including celebrity posts, was the most correlated to lower crash rates.

AT&T It Can Wait Keys to Changing Behaviors infographic


Other It Can Wait activities that corresponded with large projected crash reductions included pledges and DriveMode downloads. 

We were surprised by the magnitude of the crash reductions projected by the statistical analysis – 5.2% in Florida, 6.9% in Illinois and more than 7.8% in Texas1 – and we’ll be digging into these preliminary findings to see if there may be other factors at play too. 

But there’s one thing I can say without any further research or reservation.  Thanks to all of you who are helping to spread the word: It Can Wait! You’re making a difference.  Keep up the good work!  

1 Preliminary AT&T study of Florida, Illinois and Texas Department of Transportation Crash Data June 2012-May 2013

This post originally appeared on the AT&T Consumer Blog.

About the Author

Jim Carter

Assistant Vice President of Market Research and Analysis

jimcarter

Jim Carter is based in Dallas, TX.

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