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.

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.

“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 Gov. 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.”

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.

On April 12, the company joined with AAA Mid-Atlantic, the Maryland State Police and BGE for another stop on the company’s 2012 IT CAN WAIT Virtual Reality Simulator tour. The event was held at Maryland House, a major travel plaza on Interstate 95 in Aberdeen.
Denis Dunn, president, AT&T-Maryland, said these events are designed 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. We’re glad we could team up with Maryland’s trauma centers, the Maryland State Police, AAA Mid-Atlantic, BGE and other organizations 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.

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