What if the next few seconds you spend on social media could save a life?

New research from AT&T shows how we can influence our closest contacts. And tagging these people on social may be the perfect way to get their attention.

We’re encouraging the public to pledge to keep their eyes on the road, not their phones. And today we released new research showing how our voices can make a difference. What we found was surprising!

While many of us have hundreds of smartphone contacts, 2-in-3 people have almost all or most of their smartphone communications1 with just 5 people. The research also showed that people and their “top 5” have a lot of influence over each other.

We’re in the fifth year of the It Can Wait campaign, so new research like this is important to us as we continue to advance the program to curb the dangerous practice of smartphone distracted driving. More than 9-in-10 respondents believe it’s dangerous for drivers to send and receive smartphone communications from behind the wheel. The research shows they’re missing a real opportunity to help keep their “top 5” safe:

  • 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;
  • More than 7-in-10 said they would likely download an app to reduce their smartphone use behind the wheel if one or more of their “top 5” asked;
  • Nearly 85% of people would be likely to stop sending smartphone communications to their “top 5” when they know they’re driving … if only their “top 5” would ask!

Another interesting angle is that our “top 5” are people we know so well that we often know when they’re driving. Yet 4-in-10 surveyed said they rarely or never consider whether or not someone else is driving when they communicate with them.

We’re sharing these research results with a request. Use the influence you have with those closest to you to help keep each other safe.

Earlier this year we reported that nearly 4-in-10 use social media when they’re driving. So we’re asking you to tag your “top 5,” whether it’s a best friend or co-worker, in a social post encouraging them to keep their eyes on the road, not on their phone. It takes just a few seconds, and we’re calling it #Tag5toSave5. This quick post could make a big difference in the lives of your favorite people!

No post, glance, email, search or text is worth a life … It Can Wait.

1 “Smartphone use/communications” refers to texts, social media interactions, mobile messaging applications and emails, but not talking on one’s phone.

View the complete It Can Wait Peer Influence Survey.