How many times have you seen the person next to you on the road replying to an email at a red light, scrolling through a newsfeed while stuck in slow moving traffic, or snapping a selfie at an intersection?
Unfortunately, more Hispanic teens admitted to texting while driving than Caucasian and African American teens, and we need to work together to bring that rate down.
If you’ve never seen a resulting crash… you’re lucky. It happens all too often. The mindless decision to reach over and pick up the phone endangers not only your own life, but also lives of the passengers in your car, of the drivers around you, and of the nearby joggers, dog-walkers and kids on their way home from school.
As part of the Latino community, I recognize the important role that smartphones and apps play in our lives. The newest technology helps Latinos access the educational and professional tools they need to succeed, advances workforce inclusion, and connects us with our families around the country and around the world. However, there is a time and a place for the use of this technology – and that’s not behind the wheel.
Five years ago, AT&T created It Can Wait to drive home a simple message: No text is worth a life. What began as a targeted campaign to prevent texting while driving has evolved to include emailing, Facebooking and even video chatting as our relationships with our phones have changed.
A recent study has shown that 7-in-10 people engage in smartphone use while driving: 4-in-10 tap into social media, 3-in-10 surf the web and 1-in-10 video chat… and 27% of those think they can do it safely!
Unfortunately, more Hispanic teens admitted to texting while driving than Caucasian and African American teens, and we need to work together to bring that rate down. But it’s not just teenagers who need this message. Seventy seven percent of teens said that adults tell kids not to text or email while driving, but that adults do it themselves “all the time.”
Over the years we’ve learned the best way to educate people about the dangers of distracted driving is for them to hear the message from a friend or loved. So this month, we encourage you to take the pledge and pass it on. Take a moment to visit itcanwait.com and pledge or renew your vow to keep your eyes on the road, not on your phone. Then, pass your pledge on to your friends. Together, we’re making the road a safer place.