My smartphone is my sidekick. It helps me sift through the 200 – 500 emails I receive per day, run my social media accounts and coordinate my 9-year-old’s activities. It’s also my co-pilot as the maps feature tells me where to go and how to bypass San Diego traffic. Yes, it can be a distraction in daily life, including while on the road.
I’ve never been one to text and drive or often talk on the phone while driving. But I do occasionally glance down at it on my center console if I hear it beep. I glance at it if I miss a navigation step through the stereo. I should pull over instead. Distracted driving is never, ever O.K. to do but so many of us are guilty of it anyway.
So, I’m taking a pledge to avoid distracted driving by participating in the It Can Wait 21-Day Challenge. It’s designed to help us form good habits for well beyond the 21-day timeframe and to raise awareness of how these little distractions can be harmful.
By the end of 2016, AT&T hopes to reach 16 million pledges to raise awareness for and stop distracted driving altogether.
How AT&T DriveMode Can Help
A good way to keep your pledge in tact is by downloading the AT&T DriveMode app. It’s a free, safe driving app that helps prevent distractions while driving. It is a dream for the parents of driving teens. Here’s how it works:
- The app activates when speed reaches 15 MPH and deactivates when speed drops below 15 MPH for 2-3 minutes.
- When activated, the app silences incoming alerts like text messages.
- It auto-replies with a personalized safe driving message response to SMS and MMS messages.
- There is one-touch access to keep contacts, music and navigation apps.
- It has parental alerts that send an SMS to the parents if the app is turned off or if auto-mode is disabled.
Proof that Pledging Works
AT&T conducted a study that concluding something as simple as taking a pledge can change behaviors. Almost half of people who pledged said they now don’t use their smartphones while driving.
Those who share their promise or pledge with others are even more likely to stop and more likely to speak up to others. Of the people who shared their promise or pledge:
- 4-in-10 asked a friend or family member not to use their smartphone while driving.
- Nearly one-third asked a driver not to use their smartphone while driving when riding as a passenger.
- Nearly 4-in-10 asked a passenger to operate their smartphone while they are driving.
Take the Pledge
If you’re not really sure if it can wait, this short clip by AT&T may just convince you. It left me with chills.
Today is the first day of my 21-day pledge. I will update you along the way on social media about how I’m doing with it and what it’s like to use the DriveMode app.
You can—and should—also be a part of the 16 in ’16 by taking the pledge here. Share your pledge on social media using #ItCanWait for an opportunity to win Google Cardboard or It Can Wait swag.
Will you take the pledge, too?
*Thank you to AT&T for sponsoring this post. I’m happy to spread awareness for such an important campaign.