AT&T, AAA Mid-Atlantic team up to stop distracted driving

AT&T* on April 11 joined forces with AAA-Mid Atlantic, the City of Wilmington and Downtown Visions to promote the AT&T* IT CAN WAIT campaign, which helps citizens experience and learn the dangers of smartphone distracted driving.

The AT&T virtual reality simulator stopped in Rodney Square in Wilmington as part of AT&T’s 2017 nationwide IT CAN WAIT tour, which uses a virtual reality experience to show what can happen when drivers take their eyes off the road to look at their phones.

On April 12, the tour moved south to Caesar Rodney High School where driver’s education students “drove” the virtual reality simulator and heard from AAA Mid-Atlantic traffic-safety experts about the dangers of of smartphone distractions while driving.

Research shows that 7 in 10 people engage in smartphone activities while driving.** People are doing much more than texting from behind the wheel, which is why AT&T is organizing this nationwide tour again this year.

“We need to embrace a common sense approach to driving which, as we all know, can be a dangerous endeavor largely because of the behaviors of other drivers,” said Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki. “Add to that equation our own reckless behaviors due to the increased use of smartphones, and that can produce deadly results. I express my thanks to AT&T, AAA-Mid Atlantic, and Downtown Visions for reminding us about good driving habits.”

Joseph Divis, assistant vice president for AT&T External Affairs, said the events are part of an ongoing campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of smartphone distractions while driving.

“Despite knowing the dangers, far too many people look at their phones while they’re driving. This is a deadly serious issue, and we’re doing what we can to help raise awareness about the consequence of looking at your device while behind the wheel. By teaming up with AAA Mid-Atlantic, and Downtown Visions, we can better spread the message: It Can Wait,” said Divis.

“The practice of using a device while driving is particularly dangerous in light of recent findings from University of Utah Psychology Professor Dr. David Strayer,” said Ken Grant, Public & Government affairs manager for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “In a pair of studies for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, Dr. Strayer found that it takes up to 27 seconds for a driver to regain full attention after using a device, even a hands-free device for a phone call or for texting. This means that if a driver is only going 25 mph, they could cover the length of 3 football fields after hanging up before they regain full attention and practice safe driving.”

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