None of us mean to get into situations where we are texting and driving. We want to set a good example for our kids and keep the roads safe for drivers and pedestrians by making driving the top priority. When splitting the focus between driving and carrying out a conversation through text messaging, safety for everyone on the road decreases drastically.
Distracted driving, the umbrella category for texting and driving, is a behavior that is particularly prevalent among the teen demographic. In 2012, 3,328 people were killed in distracted-related crashes. 11% of those killed were under the age of 20. Additionally, one out of five young drivers thinks that texting makes no difference to their driving.
That's why AT&T, one of the leading cellular carriers, has started a campaign to try to curb the urge to text and drive. Their campaign is called, "It Can Wait" and it tries to teach the general public that no text conversation is more important than keeping yourself and others safe while you are driving.
Often, texting and driving is something that occurs because drivers are in the middle of a text message conversation with someone when they entered a car. When the next text comes in, they feel socially obligated to respond. The "It Can Wait" campaign (#ItCanWait) is coining new social etiquette to let someone know that you will have to pause your conversation until you are finished driving.
According to the CBS news article, "#X Campaign Goes Viral to Fight Texting While Driving,"
"The hashtag is a quick way people can let friends know that they're getting behind the wheel -- and won't be texting while driving.
Getting people to use #X and put down their phones in the car is part of AT&T's campaign "It Can Wait," whose goal is to discourage people from texting while driving, a dangerous distraction linked to thousands of accidents each year."
Next time you or your teen are buckling into a car in a mid-text conversation, send a quick #X and then set your phone down until you get to your destination. The more the trend gets circulated, the more likely it is to become effective social etiquette for drivers.
Take a look at our colorful Distracted Driving Infographic to learn more jaw-dropping statistics on distracted driving. The infographic displays a few apps and tools that are available for parents who worry that their teens are texting and driving.