In communities across the country, we delivered our message that no text is worth a life. Since its inception, the It Can Wait campaign has been featured at thousands of events – at pledge signings, simulator demonstrations and presentations from people who were personally affected by texting and driving crashes. We had the privilege to meet extraordinary people over the years, and are humbled by the overwhelming response to the campaign. The outpouring of support in local communities around the country and the people leading this effort in their cities and towns made this campaign a movement, which elevated the campaign to a more personal, meaningful level to people. Thanks to everyone’s efforts, there have been more than 5 million pledges to never text and drive and nearly 2 million downloads of our DriveMode app – and those numbers are continuing to grow every day.

It Can Wait painted on the University of Tennessee's student rock
A game changer in all this has been the real-life testimonials, the words and stories of those who have been impacted by texting and driving. These brave people have raised the profile of this issue around the country and motivated others to act.

Over the past year, there were so many great moments for the movement. For me, I don’t think anything has been more rewarding than seeing the way students get involved with It Can Wait. Not only are they soaking in the importance of remaining alert when they drive, they are learning tools and tips to spread the message to their peers. To see their motivation and creativity is an inspiration. What quickly comes to mind is an event on our annual day of action when students at the University of Tennessee took time out of their busy school schedule to paint the campus’ famous rock with our #X message, encouraging the use of this social shorthand among their classmates. It was a unique activity and one that was – quite simply – so cool to see! Other great memories include two contests – one in Missouri and one in South Carolina – where students were encouraged to share their thoughts on why they don’t text and drive. Their words – their passion – were a true testament to their dedication to creating safer roads for themselves, their friends and families.

A game changer in all this are the real-life testimonials, the words and stories of those who have been impacted by texting and driving. These brave people raised the profile of this issue around the country and motivated others to act. StopDistractions.org and its tireless leader, Jennifer Smith, now manage a speakers bureau, which includes amazing people who speak about the dangers of texting and driving at our events around the country. Earlier this year, they hosted another Distracted Driving Summit in New York. The summit was a thoughtful exploration of what we can all do to help solve the problem of texting and driving. New York has been a leader in this space, opening texting stops at rest areas on highways throughout the state.

We are looking forward to what lies ahead and I can’t wait to see what our advocates will think of next to bring the It Can Wait message to more people around the country. We are just getting started!

About the Author

Andrea Brands

Director, Consumer Safety and Education

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Since she began her career more than 20 years ago, Andrea Brands has had a varied career that includes high-level positions in government, political and corporate communications and public affairs – largely in the Chicago area of Illinois. She spearheads consumer education programs that include driver safety (AT&T’s anti-texting-while-driving campaign, It Can Wait) and online safety, where she has developed educational outreach programs for students, parents, external organizations, communities and seniors. Just recently, Ms. Brands was named AT&T’s first Director of Consumer Safety & Education, dedicated to empowering consumers with tools and information to help them use technology safely and efficiently.

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