The AT&T Issue Brief Library

Our issue briefs provide a summary of key topics. Download all issue briefs for a comprehensive overview, or use our issue brief builder to generate a customized PDF download with your selected topics. 

Promoting Safety

Materiality Assessment Topics: Child safety online; Older adults safety online; Safe use of products

Issue Summary

Companies have an important role to play in helping their customers use services and products 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

Our Action

To empower our consumers to seize the benefits of technology while avoiding some of the safety pitfalls, our safety programs include education campaigns, parental controls for mobile phone and media content and collaborations with nonprofits and government entities.

It Can Wait®

AT&T is committed to saving lives by raising awareness and sharing a simple message: keep your eyes on the road, not on your phone.

Several initiatives comprise our no-texting-while-driving campaign, It Can Wait®. Originally introduced in 2010, the program aims to educate millions of our wireless users, employees and the general public about the dangers of texting while driving. Now in its sixth year, our campaign has evolved as smartphone driving distractions have grown beyond texting to social media, web surfing, selfies and video chatting.

In September 2014, we were honored to receive the Peter K. O'Rourke Special Achievement Award from the Governors Highway Safety Association, in recognition of outstanding highway safety accomplishments for the movement against texting while driving.

At the end of 2014, AT&T was asked to join a global coalition, Together for Safer Roads, focused on improving road safety and reducing deaths and injuries by road traffic collisions. The founding members are: Anheuser-Busch InBev, AIG, AT&T, Chevron, Ericsson, Facebook, IBM, iHeartMedia, PepsiCo and Walmart. In 2015, we participated in the development and launch of a white paper from the coalition that identifies gaps and discusses the role of the private sector in advancing road safety.

It Can Wait Mexico

In October 2015, AT&T introduced its It Can Wait campaign to Mexico to call on drivers across the country to keep their eyes on the road, not on their phones. Our research showed that more than 9-in-10 (92%) urban Mexicans said they read or send messages or engage in other smartphone activities while driving, and that nearly a quarter (24%) do it “all the time.”

We joined with government and community officials to launch an It Can Wait public awareness, advertising and pledge campaign in Mexico City in 2015 and we’ll expand the program to other major cities in Mexico in 2016. In Mexico City, we are working with Mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera to share the It Can Wait message on city-owned billboards. The 16 municipalities Casas de Cultura will host neighborhood It Can Wait events that will include the virtual reality simulator.

It Can Wait Pledges

By January 2016, the movement had achieved more than 7.5 million pledges from drivers to keep their eyes on the road, not on their phone.


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

In 2015, to inform the shift in our focus, AT&T commissioned research that shows 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 texting and emailing are still the most prevalent, but that other smartphone activity use 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’re on Twitter behind the wheel.

In the first installment of an AT&T study in 2014, preliminary research on crash data from Texas, Florida and Illinois suggested a correlation between It Can Wait campaign activities and a reduction in crashes. We have continued to work on this model in some of these states and intend to collaborate with others to see how our campaign may be helping reduce smartphone-related crashes.

In 2015, we also released research that showed the power of influence on smartphone use while driving. In fact, 2-in-3 people have almost all or most of their texts, social media interactions and emails with just 5 people and these 5 people have a lot of influence over our behavior. More than 8-in-10 said they would likely stop or reduce their smartphone use while driving if one or more of their “top 5” contacts asked them to.


In 2013, AT&T commissioned texting-while-driving car simulators and organized more than 200 local events for drivers to experience what happens while texting and driving. As of December 2015, AT&T has grown this program with 588 events reaching more than 49,000 participants across the country. In 2015, a fully immersive virtual reality experience was created specifically for the tour. On the simulator tours alone, nearly 106,000 pledges have been made to keep your eyes on the road, not on your phone.


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 to connect with people affected by distracted driving crashes with schools, conferences, conventions and media to talk about these life-changing events. The speakers bureau includes hundreds of advocates around the country who have also contributed to AT&T’s two documentaries and national advertising campaigns.

Social Media Engagement

In an effort to further drive behavior change, we focused on digital and social media through the voice of influencers and our Twitter handle, @ItCanWait. The handle launched in July 2014 and has garnered more than 133,000 followers to date.

In 2015, AT&T also released a survey that showed that, while many of us have hundreds of smartphone contacts, 2-in-3 people have almost all or most of their texts, social media interactions and emails with just 5 people. Because of this, AT&T launched the #Tag5toSave5 to ask people to tag their “top 5” in a social post and encourage them to keep their eyes on the road, not on the phone. We encouraged people to #Tag5toSave5, and follow that hashtag to see how others are sharing the message.


AT&T has tapped into its innovation programs to help drive the It Can Wait movement. The AT&T DriveMode app to curb the urge to text while driving 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 app launch helped drive adoption of the application resulting in more than 3 million downloads by year end. 

Online Resources

Our online resource center ( features downloadable tools and tips for consumers, schools and companies, along with posters, educational guides, fact sheets, 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 keep their eyes on the road and not on their phones.

AT&T Employees

Over the years, AT&T has engaged its 280,000 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.


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 and driving accident. Released in August 2013, “From One Second to the Next” introduces new stories and faces on the subject following the release of “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. The video has been viewed more than 3 million times and still garners media and public attention.

In 2015, AT&T produced “Close to Home”  to help broaden recognition that the smartphone distracted driving problem was bigger than texting. Through slow-motion cinematography, viewers are able to see the jarring aftermath of taking their eyes off the road to glance at or tap on a smartphone while driving. The compelling content contextualizes a normal day that turns life-threatening when a driver makes an unsafe choice behind the wheel. To date, the video has had more than 25 million views.

AT&T also worked with Fletcher Cleaves to tell his story about how his life changed in an instant when an oncoming car drifted into his lane after the driver glanced at their phone. After producing “Fletcher’s Drive,” we brought Fletcher’s story to ESPN and audiences around the country to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving.

Digital You

In August 2015, AT&T launched Digital You, a 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 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 tips on how to use devices.

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

Please visit to find these resources and more.


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. The Digital You campaign has brought trainings to new communities throughout the country and over the course of just a few months these trainings have reached thousands of Americans. This expands on the tens of thousands of consumers who have experienced AT&T-supported trainings over the past decade.

In addition to the Digital You trainings, AT&T is 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 expansion of the Connections technology training program, update curriculum and increase workplace skills training to help older adults gain valuable job skills. OASIS Connections job training programs are currently offered in 49 cities across 26 states on a variety of topics from smartphone use to using tablets. AT&T retail employee volunteers also provided hands-on instruction to more than 900 older adults at many of these sessions.

AT&T also supports programs targeted at underserved communities, including Hispanic consumers. AT&T funded iKeepSafe to develop a program, in conjunction with LULAC and Dialogue on Diversity, to enhance the Latino community’s digital literacy and to demonstrate the benefits of being connected. The program focuses on raising awareness and knowledge on the issues of digital citizenship, online safety and managing online reputation. In 2014, iKeepSafe launched a Spanish language version of the BEaPRO Parent app to help parents foster healthy online habits among children.

AT&T Smart Controls (SM)

AT&T Smart Controls(SM) is an all-in-one online destination offering customers access to helpful tips and tools for staying safe and connected.

Introduced in 2010, AT&T Smart Controls(SM) provides one-click access to safety and security tools, articles, expert tips and more. Customers can use these resources to help manage mobile phones, the Internet and TV services. Featured products include AT&T Data Calculator, AT&T Smart Limits for Wireless(SM), AT&T Internet Parental Controls, AT&T Wireless Parental Controls, AT&T U-verse® TV Parental Controls, AT&T DriveMode® and more.

Find out more at

AT&T Smart Limits(SM)

Smart Limits(SM) is a service that enables customers to provide their children with the freedom and security of a mobile phone, while setting sensible boundaries for the phone’s use. The service offers parents the following features:

  • Set Time Restrictions — Limit texting, outbound calling and cellular data use during specific times.
  • View Daily Activity — Check your family’s phone activity with texting and calling activity graphs.
  • View Weekly Reports — Receive weekly reports summarizing texting and calling activity.
  • Set Text Limits — Set sensible limits on the number of texts your child sends and receives.
  • Block Data — Block access to cellular data.
  • Block Numbers — Block unwanted calls and texts by blocking up to 30 numbers including 411.
  • Purchase Limits — Limit purchases for apps, music and games billed to your AT&T account.

Find out more at

AT&T FamilyMap®

Ideal for today’s on-the-go families, AT&T FamilyMap is a convenient tool that lets customers see the location of family members on an interactive map from their AT&T wireless phone, tablet or computer. Families can customize their mapping experience by assigning a name and photo to each device within their account, and can also label places they visit frequently, such as "Home" or "Soccer Field." Other features include:

  • Set up a schedule to get alerts by text or email when the kids get home.
  • Locate a lost or stolen phone.
  • Review the location history for each family member.

For more information, visit

Working with Other Organizations to Educate and Empower 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.

Alliances for Online Safety Education and Awareness

AT&T works with several organizations that promote online safety education and awareness, including the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI), iKeepSafe, ConnectSafely and the National Cyber Security Alliance. AT&T is also committed to working cooperatively with local, state and federal law enforcement in their efforts to protect children online. Through these alliances, AT&T supports myriad 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.

In 2014, ConnectSafely released the “Parents’ Guide to Mobile Phones,” a joint effort by AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon and CTIA. The guide gives parents powerful tools designed to help them ensure their families are using cell phones in a manner that protects their safety, privacy and security. This guide (available in English and Spanish) explores top concerns from parents, including how to determine the best age for a child to have a cellphone; how to best employ parental controls; how to help protect their child’s privacy; and how to better control the cost of their child’s cellphone services and apps. Also included in the guide are a user-friendly cellphone safety checklist and smartphone tips for individuals of all ages. In addition, AT&T has continued to support FOSI’s Good Digital Parenting initiative that provides parents with resources to help children navigate the Internet safely and effectively. 


In 2015, AT&T supported research by iKeepSafe that investigated “Cyberbalance in a Digital Culture.” The research analyzed how children, teens and adults use devices and found some encouraging trends, but also provides tips on steps that everyone can take to maintain a cyberbalance in their lives. 


In October, AARP announced that it was expanding its 2015 AARP TEK Program, a series of free, live workshops aimed at helping close the technology gap among people 50-plus. With support from AT&T, the program is expanding to eight new cities, eleven locations overall, where people with lean to leverage personal technology to enrich their lives.

AARP TEK (which stands for Technology Education and Knowledge) launched in 2014 and the program includes hands-on workshops as well as the AARP TEK Academy which is 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 50-plus 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. 


Through the “Empower Hispanic America with Technology” program, LULAC has established the nation’s largest Latino network of technology centers. This year, AT&T worked with LULAC to revamp and upgrade 7 LULAC technology centers in Utah, New Mexico, Oklahoma, California, Florida, Illinois and Missouri. The initiative seeks to enhance community technology centers in 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 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 2, 2016