AT&T, Maryland Trauma Centers Kick Off Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Ten Maryland trauma centers, in collaboration with AT&T, on April 5 joined the AT&T* IT CAN WAIT campaign to talk about the dangers of smartphone distracted driving at hospitals and other venues across the state. The events helped kick off Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

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 teamed up with the hospitals again this year.

Participating trauma centers included: Johns Hopkins Hospital Adult Trauma, Johns Hopkins Pediatric Trauma, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Trauma Center, and Sinai Hospital in Baltimore; Suburban Hospital in Bethesda; Prince George’s Hospital in Cheverly; Meritus Medical Center in Hagerstown; and Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury. Western Maryland Medical Center is hosting community events at other times.

To drive home the message, AT&T volunteers at each hospital’s fair used a virtual reality mobile application that shows what can happen when drivers take their eyes off the road to look at their phones. The volunteers also shared information about the IT CAN WAIT campaign and the many online resources that allow individuals and organizations to join the movement. People can also use their own smartphone to view the 360° experience at home using Google cardboard or Oculus VR Goggles. Each trauma center also shared information about their local efforts to curb this deadly practice.

“The safety and security of Marylanders is our top priority, and we’re working every day to reduce traffic fatalities and save lives,” said Maryland Governor Larry Hogan. “Distracted driving puts everyone at risk, that’s why I’m glad to see our world-class trauma centers and the private sector working together to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. It’s simple: if you’re driving in Maryland, keep your eyes on the road, not on your phones.”

Denis Dunn, president, AT&T-Maryland, said AT&T teamed up with trauma centers again this year to help prevent distractions while driving and to help save lives.

“We want to continue our work to raise awareness about the dangers of using a smartphone while driving. It’s against the law in Maryland. And it’s deadly. This is an important outreach program for the trauma centers, and it’s important to AT&T, too. We’re glad we could team up with Maryland’s trauma centers to remind drivers of all ages: It Can Wait,” Dunn said.

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. It has now expanded 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 90% of audiences surveyed.
  • Inspired more than 14 million pledges to not drive distracted.
  • Worked with departments of transportation in Texas, Kentucky and other states on research that suggests a correlation between It Can Wait campaign activities and a reduction in crashes.
  • 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, visit ItCanWait.com.

* AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

**Research commissioned by AT&T and conducted by Braun Research. Polled 2,067 people in the U.S. aged 16-65 who use their smartphone and drive at least once a day. Additional information available here.

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