My friends and loved ones mean more to me than I can ever express in words. They’ve been there for me through my ups and my downs – they are my tribe and without them I’d be lost. I truly enjoy being in good company, which is why I’m always hosting a get together – sometimes it’s just us moms, other times it’s the entire family – everyone under my roof talking, laughing and eating. True Russian style. Last week I was fortunate to have partnered with AT&T to host a really important and meaningful gathering – a Friends-giving, or so my friends thought. This Friends-giving get together was so much more dear to my heart than any other I’ve hosted, which is why I have something to tell you, but It Can Wait and here is why.
I Have Something To Tell You BUT It Can Wait And Here Is Why
Last weeks Friends-giving was really a Distracted Driving Intervention sponsored by AT&T’s #ItCanWait campaign. As I mentioned before, my friends are my world, a world I could not imagine living in if something happened to them. I needed to let them know that they mattered, they are important, and most importantly, that their family and I are always waiting for them to arrive home safe. They’ve attended so many of my get togethers and I am so very grateful for their friendship and support. This get together was going to be challenging, it was going hopefully going to rock them to their very core. And so while I initially had invited just my female friends, I realized it was equally important to invite their entire families.
My work revolves around my smartphone, so I know first hand how tempting it is to pick up the phone while driving – or when stopped at a red light. I am the first one to admit guilt here – I am raising my hand to confess. I shared some statistics with my guests, and the one that stuck out the most was:
According to AT&T’s latest 2016 research, 64% of drivers use their smartphones when driving alone. Interestingly, the answer changes when company is in the car. Only 36% of drivers look at their smartphone screens with passengers in the car – and if you’re driving with a child in the car, only 30% look at their screens.
Shocking right? Here’s the thing, even when we are alone in the car, we are NEVER alone on the road. This ad campaign from AT&T’s It Can Wait program titled “The Unseen” which I played for those brave enough to watch was jaw dropping and tear producing. That could have been any of us. I saw a similar ad campaign a little over a year ago titled “Close to Home” and is the reason the It Can Wait initiative is such an important part of my life and why I share it with those I care about, you the reader included, because just as with my friends, I wouldn’t be where I am today with YOU.
This is a judgment-free zone. Raise your hand if you have ever texted while driving? Sent an email while driving? Checked Facebook while driving? Taken a selfie while driving? If you’ve just raised your hand, take the pledge!
With Thanksgiving around the corner, there is so much to be thankful for, but I am most thankful now to those that are taking the pledge to put their smartphones down while driving. By making a commitment to stick with your pledge for at least 21 days, it will become habit not to answer texts, emails, etc. And the next time you want to pick up your phone to send a text to tell someone something, remember, It Can Wait because your life is more important. Research shows that almost 50% of people who took the It Can Wait pledge said they now don’t use their smartphones while driving and 4-in-10 asked a friend or family member to not use their smartphone while driving.
I challenge you to watch this driving simulation with your loved ones – we watched it (check out the live reactions!) It left some tongue tied, some shocked, but all convinced that #ItCanWait. It’s great to watch with a VR headset or Cardboard if you have one (I have a few extras to the first readers that leave a comment requesting one) but gets the point across without one as well – you can use your keyboard arrow controls to move the scene around. Once you’ve watched it and shared it with your loved ones, sign the pledge we watched it so that everyone arrives home safely because distracted driving is NEVER okay. AT&T has a neat app that I use on my phone called AT&T DriveMode that can help you respond to calls and texts. It’s available on Apple and Google Play for free – and can help you achieve your goals to minimize distractions while driving so that you can keep your eyes on the road! I love you, stay safe, stay alert and most importantly remember that your loved ones depend on your safe arrival home.
I invited my guests to take a pre-event & post-event survey and with 10 guests responding, here are some of the findings:
Take the Pledge today and encourage your friends and loved ones to do the same. Let’s help AT&T reach 16 million people – and pledges, by the end of 2016!
What are some things you could do to help fight the urge to use your phone while driving?
Disclosure: Today’s I Have Something To Tell You BUT It Can Wait And Here Is Why story was sponsored by AT&T. I have received product samples and compensation through my ongoing partnership with AT&T. All opinions and thoughts expressed are my own. As noted in all of my stories, I only share those that I feel with be useful to you, the reader, to help you find a bit of sanity alongside me. Thank you for allowing me to multitask my way through this world in order to share my tips and tricks with you. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.