Published on September 21st, 2015 | by Millennium Magazine Staff



Pictured; Students at Chapin High School experience AT&T’s newly upgraded virtual simulator. 

3D Experience Educates Students, Faculty on the Dangers of Smartphone Distracted Driving

CHAPIN, SC, — Representatives from Chapin High School joined state Sen. Ronnie Cromer and Reps. Nathan Ballentine and Chip Huggins in attending the AT&T* It Can Wait campaign to address the dangers of smartphone driving distractions. People are no longer just texting behind from behind the wheel – new research shows that 7-in-10 people engage in various smartphone activities while driving.1

To drive home the message and these new findings, AT&T brought a virtual reality simulator to the school, allowing students and faculty to experience firsthand how dangerous it can be when you take your eyes off the road and direct them onto your phone. Following a school-wide assembly, the simulator was available for individual students and classes throughout the day to experience, safely, the dangers of distracted driving.

“Texting while driving is illegal in South Carolina and puts the lives of drivers and passengers at risk, yet we see it every day,” said Sen. Cromer. “I am committed to keeping my eyes on the road and not on my phone while driving, and I urge my family and all South Carolinians to join me.”

“Used wisely, cell phones are tremendously useful tools, both in personal lives and in business,” said Rep. Huggins. “Yet behind the wheel of a car, they can be dangerous. I appreciate programs like It Can Wait for helping all of us better understand the dangers of distracted driving.”

“I use a smartphone and understand the attraction of staying connected with friends or family through text or social media,” said Rep. Ballentine. “But it is hard to stay connected if you’re dead. My own children are now reminding me that there is no message, search or post that can’t wait until it can be done safely and off the road.”

“As educators, we want to help our students achieve academically while learning to make wise decisions and exercise responsible citizenship,” said Chapin High School Principal Akil Ross. “I can think of no greater example of citizenship than intentionally choosing to behave in a way that saves someone’s life, if not your own. We appreciate the commitment of our local lawmakers on the issue and are pleased to host this simulator. If the life of one of our students is saved because of this event, it will have been one of the most important lessons taught on our campus today.”

It Can Wait is a national movement urging drivers to visit, where they can pledge to keep their eyes on the road, not on their phone, and share their pledge with others via Twitter (#ItCanWait) and Facebook. What started as a campaign focused on not texting and driving has now expanded its focus to the broader dangers of smartphone use behind the wheel. Since its launch in 2010, the campaign has:

· Helped drive awareness of the dangers of texting while driving to about 90% for all audiences surveyed.
· Inspired more than 7 million pledges not to text and drive.
· Worked with departments of transportation in Texas, Kentucky and other states on research that suggests a correlation between It Can Wait campaign activities and a reduction in crashes.

“Through the national It Can Wait campaign, we hope to make texting and driving as unacceptable as drinking and driving,” said Ted Creech, Director of External Affairs for AT&T South Carolina. “We all know how wireless services keep us more connected with each other, and with information and opportunities. But if we do not use wireless safely, it can change lives in very negative ways, too.”

Samsung, Bose and Google are supporting the immersive tour experience, which is delivered through Samsung Gear VR, with premium sound from Bose QuietComfort® 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling® Headphones.

*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.

1 Research commissioned by AT&T and conducted by Braun Research. Polled 2,067 people in the U.S. aged 16-65 who use their smartphone and drive at least once a day. Additional information available here.

About AT&T
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) helps millions of people and businesses around the globe stay connected through leading wireless, high-speed Internet, voice and cloud-based services. We’re helping people mobilize their worlds with state-of-the-art communications, entertainment services and amazing innovations like connected cars and devices for homes, offices and points in between. Our U.S. wireless network offers customers the nation’s strongest LTE signal and the nation’s most reliable 4G LTE network. We offer the best global wireless coverage. We’re improving how our customers stay entertained and informed with AT&T U-verse® TV and High Speed Internet services. And businesses worldwide are serving their customers better with AT&T’s mobility and highly secure cloud solutions.
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