According to the National Safety Council, more than 1.5 million motor vehicle accidents each year involves drivers using their cell phone and texting. AT&T launched a campaign called "It Can Wait", to raise awareness about the dangers of texting and driving and encourage people to be safer behind the wheel.
Bob Bass, President of AT&T Washington and Danielle Knight, Drive-Time DJ/Traffic Reporter for KUBE 93-FM, joined Margaret to talk about how the "It Can Wait" campaign has grown since AT&T launched it, as well as why it's even more important to keep people safe behind the wheel.
Danielle shared her own harrowing experience of surviving what could have been a horrific accident because she took her eyes off the road for a couple of seconds to look down at her cell phone (read her complete story below).
Bob shared several ways people can learn about the dangers of texting while driving, including an interactive "texting and driving simulator" on It Can Wait's website (try it out by clicking here). AT&T customers can also download a free "Drive Mode" app, which lets incoming callers/texters/emailers know that a person is driving and will respond to their messages later. The app iscurrently available for Android and BlackBerry models, coming soon for iPhone and Windows phones. For more information, cilck here. The website also includes ways for people to share their own stories, take the "It Can Wait" pledge and share their messages via social media.
For more information about AT&T and the It Can Wait campaign, please click here.
Find the It Can Wait campaign on Facebook.
Join the hastag campaign on Twitter: #ItCanWait
Keep up with Danielle at KUBE 93-FM's website - just click here.
Find her on Facebook: Traffic Divas
Here's Danielle's story:
"I'm Danielle, a 24 year old Seattleite living the dream working in radio. I started working as an intern at 105.1 KISS FM a month after I graduated from high school. Now, almost 5 years later, I'm a full-time on-air employee. Every day I get to laugh, talk about current events and guide our listeners through their morning commute. As a Traffic Diva, I report accidents every day that I know could be avoided. Texting while driving is incredibly dangerous; I know that from experience.
Three and a half years ago, I was driving down 405 on a gorgeous summer day when my phone buzzed in my cup holder. I looked down to see who had sent me a message – didn't even take my hands off the wheel – but when I looked up just a second later, the car in front of me had stopped. I slammed on my brakes and locked my arms o hard that my car blew every single tire, spun backwards across 4 lanes of traffic and I was then hit head on by an SUV. Amazingly, neither of us was hurt, but my car was totaled.
Since that day, I've been outspoken about the dangers of texting while driving. If I see a friend of family member do it, I offer to send a text for them and tell them that it's not a safe idea. Many people think they can multitask well enough to stay out of danger, but it only takes a split second to end up in a tragic accident. As a traffic reporter, I care about all of our listeners staying safe on the roads, and that means putting the phone away while driving."