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AT&T* deployed its virtual reality driving simulator at Antlers High School to highlight the dangers of distracted driving for local students and allow them to experience the dangers of texting while driving first-hand.
The AT&T â€śIt Can Waitâ€ť program and the virtual reality driving was at the Antlers High School on Monday, March 4, 2013, between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
The AT&T driving simulator is a computerized car that lets users virtually text and drive â€“ providing a realistic but safe experience for drivers. Using the simulator, young drivers learn that no message is so urgent that it is worth diverting attention from the road and risking human lives in the process.
â€śTexting and driving is a real danger,â€ť said Senator Jerry Ellis. â€śWe must work together to ensure that drivers of all ages understand that there is no text or email worth serious injury or death.â€ť
As a company, AT&T has been at the forefront of efforts to educate drivers to the dangers of texting while driving and has made a proactive push to educate all wireless users â€“ particularly teen drivers â€“ through its national "Texting & Driving...It Can Waitâ€ť campaign.
â€śPublic safety is of the utmost importance. I applaud AT&T and Antlers High School for partnering together to educate the next generation of drivers to help make prevention of distracted driving a reality,â€ť said Representative R.C. Pruett.
Antlers students, teachers and staff will have the opportunity to experience AT&Tâ€™s computerized car simulator and take a pledge to never text and drive. The appearance will include a series of activities to promote distraction-free driving practices.
â€śMore than 100,000 times each year, an automobile crashes and people are injured or die because the driver was texting while driving,â€ť said Bryan Gonterman, President of AT&T Oklahoma, citing a statistic from the National Safety Council1.
â€śOur goal is to save lives,â€ť Gonterman said. â€śI hear from far too many people whose lives have been forever changed by a texting-while-driving accident, and together, we want to spread the word about how deadly a single text can be. Weâ€™d like to see texting and driving become as unacceptable as drinking and driving.â€ť (See video)
Making a difference
Â· Polling shows that awareness of AT&Tâ€™s It Can Wait message has doubled since the beginning of June 2012, and one in three people say texting while driving messages have an impact on their habits.
Â· More than 1 million no-texting-while-driving pledges have been logged through ItCanWait.com, social sites including Facebook, text-to-pledge and events.
Â· The AT&T DriveModeâ„˘ 2 app has been downloaded more than 80,000 times.
It Can Wait is a national movement tapping into the power of social media and personal networks to make texting and driving as unacceptable as drinking and driving. It urges drivers to visit www.ItCanWait.com, where they can pledge not to text and drive, and share their pledge with others via Twitter (#ItCanWait) and Facebook. It also offers a host of educational resources and information on the issue â€“ including a documentary featuring families impacted by texting and driving accidents that has been viewed more than 3 million times.
1 National Safety Council www.nsc.org
2 Data and text messaging charges may apply for download and app usage. Standard messaging rates apply to auto-reply messages. AT&T DriveMode is free to AT&T customers only. Compatible device required.
*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.