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Promoting Safety

Materiality Assessment Topics: Online safety; Safe use of products/services; Responsible content| Global Reporting Initiative G4 Indicators: PR2, Online safety DMA

Issue Summary

Companies have an important role to play in helping their customers use services and products safely and in the manner that works best for themselves and their families.

Our Position

We are dedicated to empowering our customers to use our products and services in a safe and responsible manner.

Data Highlights

2016 Key Performance Indicators
  • Pledges to not drive distracted through the It Can Wait campaign as of December 2016: >15M


Our Action

To empower our consumers to seize the benefits of technology while avoiding some of the safety pitfalls, AT&T has created a number of safety programs that include education campaigns, parental controls for mobile phones and media content and collaborations with non-profits and government entities.

It Can Wait®

AT&T is committed to saving lives by raising awareness and sharing a simple message: distracted driving is never okay.

Several initiatives comprise our It Can Wait® campaign to prevent distracted driving. Originally introduced in 2010, the program aims to educate employees and the general public about the dangers of distracted driving. Our campaign has evolved as smartphone driving distractions grew beyond texting to social media, web surfing, selfies and video chatting.

As of December 2016, the movement achieved more than 15 million pledges from drivers to never drive distracted since 2010.

AT&T is a contributing member of the global coalition, Together for Safer Roads, a private sector effort that is focused on improving road safety and reducing deaths and injuries by road traffic collisions. The founding members include Anheuser-Busch InBev, AIG, AT&T, Chevron, Ericsson, Facebook, IBM, iHeartMedia, PepsiCo and Walmart.

We also work with the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) on our shared mission to keep drivers safe on the road and have previously been honored with their Peter K. O'Rourke Special Achievement Award in recognition of outstanding highway safety accomplishments for the movement against texting while driving.

It Can Wait Mexico

AT&T’s It Can Wait campaign is now in Mexico, called "Puede Esperar." The program aims to inform our wireless users, employees and the public that distracted driving is never okay. Research shows that more than 9-in-10 (92%) urban Mexicans read or send messages or engage in other smartphone activities while driving. Nearly a quarter (24%) do it “all the time.”

In 2015, we joined with government and community officials to launch an It Can Wait public awareness, advertising and pledge campaign in Mexico City. We have hosted neighborhood It Can Wait events that include our virtual reality experience, a 3-D setting that allows people to experience the potentially deadly consequences of even glancing at a phone while driving.

Altera Amber

AT&T was the first and only Mexican wireless carrier to collaborate with the Alerta Amber (Amber Alert) initiative at a national level in 2015. AT&T and Unefon users receive text messages when a child is missing or abducted in their area.

Research

Ultimately, the question is whether all our activities are making a difference – and importantly, which activity is the most impactful.

In 2016, we conducted research that showed that only 36% of drivers look at their smartphone with passengers in the car, compared to more than 6-in-10 (64%) without a passenger. We also found that, for 1-in-3 drivers, distracted driving is a habit, and they have a false sense of security in their actions. Only 58% of habitual distracted drivers feel that using their smartphone behind the wheel is “very dangerous,” compared to 78% of non-habitual distracted drivers. Not surprisingly, habitual distracted drivers are also twice as likely to have been involved in a near crash or a collision.

In addition to looking at drivers’ habits, we also conducted research on how the act of taking an It Can Wait pledge can make a difference in behavior. Our research found that almost half of people who pledged said they no longer use their smartphones while driving. Additionally, those who share their promise or pledge with others are even more likely to stop, and more likely to speak up to others.

Last year, we also worked with our data scientists, using anonymized data, to estimate the rates of texting while driving across the U.S. The finding shows that having statewide anti-texting laws lowers rates of texting while driving, at a statistically significant level. According to the data, the four states without a statewide ban have a roughly 17% higher rate of texting while driving than the 46 states with statewide bans.

In 2015, AT&T commissioned research showing that 7-in-10 people engage in smartphone activities while driving, and that 62% of people keep their smartphones within easy reach while driving. The research showed that while texting and emailing are still the most prevalent, other smartphone activity behind the wheel is now common. Among social platforms, Facebook tops the list, with more than a quarter of those polled using the app while driving. About 1-in-7 said they also use Twitter behind the wheel.

National Virtual Reality Simulator Tour and Local Engagement

Since 2013, AT&T has commissioned the creation of texting-while-driving car simulators and organized more than 1,000 local events for drivers to experience what happens while texting and driving. In 2015, we launched a new version of the simulator, which uses state-of-the-art virtual reality technology to gives drivers a firsthand look at the dangers of driving distracted. In 2016, we hosted over 300 simulator events with over 117,000 attendees, generating over 26,000 pledges.

In 2016, AT&T also launched an interactive map showcasing simulator tour stops to encourage greater awareness of the simulator tour.

In addition to the simulator tour, AT&T actively hosts other events and activities to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving, including proclamation signings with elected officials, events with members of our speakers bureau, employee volunteer events, essay contests and school assemblies with federal, state and local partners.

National Speakers Bureau

As part of our efforts to bring first-hand stories about the dangers of smartphone use while driving to audiences around the country, AT&T works with StopDistractions.org to connect with people affected by distracted driving crashes with schools, conferences, conventions and media to talk about these life-changing events. The National Speakers Bureau includes hundreds of advocates around the country who have also contributed to AT&T’s two documentaries, available here and here, and national advertising campaigns.

Social Media Engagement

In an effort to further drive behavior change, we focus on digital and social media through the voice of influencers and our Twitter handle, @ItCanWait.

Our commitment to partnering with influencers to help tell our It Can Wait story extended throughout 2016. During Teen Driver Safety Week, we utilized relationships with influencers of Fullscreen, a digital video company that manages channels on social platforms and most popular among young viewers, to help us ask teen drivers to take the It Can Wait pledge. Posts from influencers during this week were retweeted more than 7,800 times and gained more than 13,000 likes. Statistics on teen driving released on @ItCanWait throughout the week made more than 48,000 impressions and garnered around 600 unique engagements.

Social amplification of It Can Wait was a particular focus during the month of September, and especially during Pledge Week. During this time, the It Can Wait Twitter handle focused on engaging with users who back our cause organically, outside of an existing relationship with the campaign or with AT&T. We reached thousands of users through engaging with UK band The Shires, supermodel Kathy Ireland and Harvard University’s School of Public Health. It Can Wait’s engagements with these 3 users alone garnered more than 31,500 impressions and accumulated more than 750 additional engagements.

In addition, we launched a 21-Day Challenge with bloggers and influencers to encourage those struggling with this dangerous habit to stow their phones away while driving for 21 consecutive days. Why 21 days? Experts say it takes at least 21 days to make or break a habit. From their blog posts to supporting social posts, the campaign garnered more than 43 million impressions.

Finally, the @ItCanWait handle was able to amplify 2016’s viral video by Fullscreen and Summer Break with both organic and paid social support. The video, to date, has amassed more than 63 million views on Facebook and 1.6 million views on YouTube.

Technology and Innovation Programs

AT&T has tapped into its innovation programs to help drive the It Can Wait movement. The AT&T DriveMode app is designed to curb the urge to text while driving and emerged from an employee’s submission to The Innovation Pipeline. In 2014, the AT&T DriveMode app became available for iPhone users – making it the first free no-texting-while-driving application offered by a major U.S. wireless carrier that works on the iPhone. This iPhone launch helped drive adoption of the application, which has been downloaded over 8 million times.

Online Resources

Our online resource center (ItCanWait.com) features downloadable tools and tips for consumers, schools and companies, along with posters, educational guides, fact sheets and links to the PSAs and print advertisements for the campaign. It also has a call-to-action where we encourage individuals to take the pledge to not drive distracted.

AT&T Employees

Since 2010, AT&T has engaged over 265,000 of its employees to help spread the word through outreach in their local communities. Through internal communications and websites, we’ve encouraged employees to take the pledge and discuss the issue. Our employees have given presentations about the It Can Wait campaign to more than 1,500 schools, and they continue to hold It Can Wait community events and activations. To date, more than three-quarters of AT&T employees have taken the pledge. In 2016, employees also participated in an online pledge competition to secure pledges from people in their communities. The contest winner received $5,000 to contribute to an organization with a distracted driving program.

Additionally, more than 5,000 employees have committed to help stop distracted driving through AT&T’s Do One Thing (DOT) program. The DOT program invites employees to choose something they care about – the environment, their community, their health – and change one behavior. For these employees, that behavior was distracted driving, and as a result, they took the It Can Wait pledge.

Documentary and ADs

Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Werner Herzog, “From One Second to the Next” focuses on the stories of four individuals who have been involved in or caused a texting-while-driving accident. Released in August 2013, the film introduces new voices and faces on the subject following the release of our “The Last Text” documentary in 2010. Through existing relationships, we seeded the documentary with 40,000 schools, hundreds of safety organizations and government agencies, and many others across the country.

In 2016, AT&T produced “The Unseen” to highlight our campaign message – “You’re Never Alone on the Road.” This video, which launched in conjunction with our research on habitual distracted driving, is available online and has been viewed over 13 million times.

Empowering Our Customers

Digital You®

Digital You® is an AT&T campaign to provide tips, tools and information to help consumers get online safely and securely.

The Digital You® website, created in collaboration with Common Sense Media, LGBT Tech, National Consumers League, iKeepSafe, Family Online Safety Institute and other experts, is a resource that provides parents, youth, digital newcomers, people with disabilities and community leaders with information on the devices they use and how to maintain privacy, safety and security in an increasingly connected world. The website addresses topics such as preventing cyberbullying, managing your online presence and parenting in the digital age.

AT&T also supported the launch of Common Sense Media’s Digital Compass app, a free animated gaming platform targeting middle schoolers, designed to teach valuable digital citizenship skills.

Please visit http://digitalyou.att.com/ to find these resources and more.

Trainings

AT&T has a long history of working with local and national organizations to train people to get the most out of technology. As with the Digital You® website, the trainings cover topics ranging from technology basics to how to combat cyberbullying, and are designed for people of all ages. In 2016, the Digital You® campaign reached over 5,000 people with 170+ events in 26 states and the District of Columbia. This expands on the tens of thousands of consumers who have participated in AT&T-supported trainings over the past decade.

AT&T is also working to expand the reach of our trainings by working with youth organizations such as Future Farmers of America (FFA) and Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA). AT&T teams in Alabama, Tennessee and other states around the country have trained FFA and FCCLA students to organize and run their own trainings. Through these programs we are providing students with new leadership opportunities and bringing trainings to new and different audiences.

DIRECTV® Parental Controls & AT&T U-verse® TV Parental Controls

Both AT&T U-verse and DIRECTV provide Parental Controls which will allow greater control on what types of content can be seen. With Parental Controls you can: block live programs, specific channels, recorded programs and videos based on content ratings. It also provides the ability to limit viewing times and set spending limits for movies or Pay-Per-View events. Parental Controls are simple to set up and easy to use. They offer parents peace of mind on what programming choices are available for their kids.

AT&T Smart Limits®

AT&T Smart Limits® helps you manage your family’s phone use by setting sensible limits on texts and purchases, blocking data, setting up Wi-Fi ® reminders, and viewing daily and weekly activity at home and on the go. The service offers the following features:

  • Manage Cellular Data
    • Block Cellular Data – Block access to cellular data for any line on your account.
    • Wi-Fi Reminders – Help your family manage data use by setting up text reminders to switch to Wi-Fi when a set amount of cellular data is used.
  • Set Limits
    • Time Restrictions – Encourage responsible phone use by limiting text, outbound calling and cellular data use during specific times of the day.
    • Purchase Limits – Avoid unexpected mobile content charges on your AT&T account by limiting purchase for apps, music and games.
    • Text Limits – Set limits on the number of texts your child sends and receives each month.
  • Block Numbers
    • Block Numbers – Block up to 30 numbers from unwanted calls and texts, including 411.
    • Allowed Contacts – Create a trusted list of phone numbers for your child.
  • See Activity
    • View Daily Activity – Check in on your child’s calling and texting activity during the day or night.
    • Weekly Reports – Gain insight into phone use with weekly reports on the amount of texting and calling activity.
    • Top Contacts – Stay in touch by knowing with whom and how often your child is communicating with contacts.
    • Alerts – Receive customized alerts for text and call activity and receive new contact alerts.

Find out more at www.att.com/smartlimits.

AT&T FamilyMap®

Ideal for today’s on-the-go families, AT&T FamilyMap lets you see the location of family members’ phones on an interactive map from your phone, tablet or computer. Features include:

  • Get alerts when the kids arrive at defined places (home, school, parks or a friend’s house).
  • Locate a lost or stolen phone.
  • Review the location history for each family member.

For more information, visit www.att.com/familymap.

Supporting Efforts to Raise Awareness and Educate Consumers

Supporting industry initiatives and user education programs is a critical component of AT&T's overall efforts to improve digital literacy to educate our customers about online safety.

#LATERHATERS

Online hate and cyberbullying is a reality that must be stopped, and as a leader in mobile connectivity we are committed to helping people stay safe online. In 2016, we launched #LaterHaters, a social-first campaign aimed at empowering teens to stand against abusive or negative behavior on social media.

Partnering to Promote Online Safety Education and Awareness

AT&T works with several organizations that promote online safety education and awareness and is committed to working cooperatively with local, state and federal law enforcement in their efforts to protect children online. Through these alliances, AT&T supports a myriad of programs that raise the profile of online safety issues and provide resources and tools to consumers who seek more information. We also participate in and host community summits, panels and educational events that help consumers of all ages learn how to safely and efficiently manage technology.

Family Online Safety Institute

The Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) is an international, non-profit organization working to make the online world safer for kids and their families. FOSI convenes leaders in industry, government and the non-profit sectors to collaborate and innovate new solutions and policies in the field of online safety. Through research, resources, events and special projects, FOSI promotes a culture of responsibility online and encourages a sense of digital citizenship for all.

National Cyber Security Alliance

The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) builds strong public/private partnerships to create and implement broad-reaching education and awareness efforts to empower users at home, work and school with the information they need to keep themselves, their organizations, their systems and their sensitive information safe and secure online and encourage a culture of cybersecurity.

Oasis Institute

AT&T is also helping to narrow the technology skills gap for older adults by supporting the OASIS Institute’s Connections program. AT&T’s support enables OASIS to continue expanding and updating the Connections technology training program, which helps adults build skills and confidence using computers, the internet and portable devices. OASIS Connections programs are currently offered in 34 cities and have reached 92,000 participants since 2001. 

AARP TEK Program

With support from AT&T, the AARP TEK Program – a free, live workshop aimed at helping close the technology gap among people ages 50 – was offered in 33 cities around the country.

AARP TEK includes hands-on workshops as well as the AARP TEK Academy, a free, easy-to-use online classroom. Both are open to anyone, including but not limited to AARP members, and are designed to allow Americans to connect with people and passions in their lives using technology.

AARP TEK workshops are aimed at empowering people over the age of 50 to increase their digital literacy by teaching them the skills and giving them the confidence they need to use technology that is transforming the way information is found, business is conducted and people connect with one another.

Relaunching Tech Centers with LULAC

Through the “Empower Hispanic America with Technology” program, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) has established the nation’s largest Latino network of community technology centers with 55 locations across the country. In 2015 and 2016, AT&T worked with LULAC to revamp and upgrade 16 LULAC technology centers in Iowa, Pennsylvania, Nebraska, Florida, Colorado, Ohio, Michigan, New Mexico, Utah, New Mexico, Oklahoma, California, Illinois and Missouri to enhance existing locations that serve Hispanic communities by providing high-speed internet access and up-to-date computer and networking equipment.

The AT&T-provided upgrades to these LULAC technology centers include computer equipment, office applications software and technology curriculum, in addition to ongoing tech support. Visitors to these centers will have access to the types of technology and equipment they need to help complete school work, prepare for college or get the skills they need for a new job. 

Updated on: Aug 17, 2017

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