AT&T Brings Virtual Reality Experience toTrauma Centers Across Maryland

Striking 3D Experience Shows the Dangers of Smartphone Distracted Driving

Seven Maryland trauma centers, in collaboration with AT&T* It Can Wait, kicked off Distracted Driving Awareness Month to show the dangers of smartphone distractions while driving. The events are part of the Maryland Trauma Quality Improvement Committee’s Distracted Driving Day on April 4.

Research shows that nearly 9-in-10 people admit to using their smartphone while driving.1 People are doing much more than texting while behind the wheel, which is why AT&T teamed up with the hospitals for the fourth year.

Participating trauma centers included: Johns Hopkins Hospital and Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore; Suburban Hospital in Bethesda; Prince George’s Hospital Center in Cheverly; Meritus Medical Center in Hagerstown; and Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury. R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, University of Maryland in Baltimore will host its event on April 5, 2018.

Attendees at each event heard from trauma center personnel about the consequences of smart phone distractions while driving. Many locations had representatives from state and local law enforcement and other first responders, traffic safety organizations and other groups.

Casey Barba from the Living Legacy Foundation tries the new #itcanwait VR experience at Meritus Medical Center in Hagerstown on April 4

Volunteers from AT&T also were on hand with information about the IT CAN WAIT initiative, including the new virtual reality experience that simulates what can happen if drivers take their eyes off the road to look at their phones. The new VR experience reinvents the original approach of a driving simulation, now bringing you face-to-face with the very real dangers of distracted driving. You’ll hear the raw, personal stories of its victims, living in a nightmarish reality. Read more about the new experience here.

“Hundreds of people die, and thousands of crashes occur every year from smartphone use while driving, which is why this campaign is so important in Maryland and across the nation,” said Denis Dunn, president, AT&T Maryland. “We’re honored to team up Maryland’s trauma centers this year to raise awareness and save lives.”

AT&T took the #ItCanWait message to R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore as part of a series of events with trauma centers statewide. Pictured here (l to r) are: Mark Wall, MHSO; Maj. Kevin Anderson, MDTA Police; Mandy Remmell, Shock Trauma; Bella Chant, Shock Trauma; Susanne Ogaitis-Jones, MD Institute for Emergency Medical Services; and LaTara Harris, AT&T.

It Can Wait is a national movement urging drivers to keep their eyes on the road, not on their phones—distracted driving is never OK. The campaign began with a focus on not texting and driving. We’ve now expanded it to the broader dangers of smartphone use behind the wheel.

Since its launch in 2010, the campaign has:

  • Helped grow awareness of the dangers of smartphone distracted driving to nearly all of those surveyed.1
  • Inspired more than 23 million pledges to not drive distracted.
  • Collaborated with AT&T data scientists on research that shows how statewide anti-texting laws impact the rate of texting while driving.

To learn more, go to ItCanWait.com.

1 Online survey with 7,505 respondents (total distracted drivers n=6,438) conducted by Kantar Added Value. Ongoing survey, data represented here were collected January 2017- December 2017. National panel sample (ages 15-54, drive, and have a smartphone).

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