AT&T has launched a campaign to discourage people from texting while driving using the hashtag #ItCanWait. It encourages drivers to send #x to anyone they are currently texting before they start driving. The #x indicates they are about to drive so they'll stop texting them until further notice.
Demi Lovato did an advertisement with AT&T to promote the #X for the #ItCanWait campaign, demonstrating how easy it is to send #x to pause conversations.
Video Credit: AT&T on YouTube.
As she said: No text is worth a life! Texting while driving causes thousands of accidents per year in the United States. According to the IIHS, people who are talking on cellphones (whether via text or voice) while driving are four times more likely to be injured in an accident.
The worst issue at play here is operation of the phone. Texting requires your full attention because you have to look down at your phone and operate it. Drivers who were dialing numbers and texting got into far more accidents than those who were simply talking. Not to say that talking while driving is acceptable either.
The #X #ItCanWait campaign is directly at teenagers especially. The young generations use smartphones very heavily.
Sadly, the IIHS reported that bans on the use of cellphones while driving had little to no effect on accident rates, indicating that people don't take this seriously enough. This proves the necessity of the campaign.
Despite any effects on phone use and texting, there is little evidence so far that banning hand-held phone use or texting reduces crashes. A 2009 analysis found that hand-held bans had no effect on insurance collision claim rates. Researchers compared rates of claims for crash damage in three states and the District of Columbia before and after hand-held phone use bans went into effect and found no significant change in claim rates for two jurisdictions relative to comparison states and small, but significant, increases in claim rates in the other two.