AT&T Teams Up with Putnam County Executive, Sheriff and County Clerk to Educate the Public on the Dangers of Smartphone Distracted Driving

AT&T Teams Up with Putnam County Executive, Sheriff and County Clerk to Educate the Public on the Dangers of Smartphone Distracted Driving

 AT&T’s Nationally-touring virtual reality simulator will make a pit-stop in Putnam County to drive home the message of It Can (All) Wait Behind the Wheel on Tuesday, July 25

WHO/WHY:       AT&T* research shows that 7 in 10 people engage in smartphone activities while driving.** It’s no longer safe to assume that people are just texting from behind the wheel. They’re checking email, posting to social media, snapping selfies and even video chatting and playing games like Pokémon Go. To drive home the message, “It Can (All) Wait,” AT&T has teamed up with Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell, Putnam County Sheriff Don Smith, and Putnam County Clerk Mike Bartolotti to bring the AT&T nationally-touring 3D virtual reality simulator to the Putnam County DMV. This educational and free opportunity will allow the public to experience firsthand how dangerous it is to take their eyes off the road and glance at a phone even for just two seconds. The virtual reality simulator “pit stop” in Putnam County is one of 200 nationwide in 2017.

The simulator is also visiting Putnam County to celebrate the remarkable dedication of local AT&T employee Regina Ennis, who won the AT&T’s It Can Wait 16 in ’16 Pledge contest last year, an internal contest challenging employees to compete to get the most It Can Wait pledges from their communities.  Because of her dedication and commitment to protecting her community through educating on dangers of smartphone distracted driving, AT&T scheduled the simulator to make a special stop in her community to help her and the local partnering dignitaries to educate county residents to keep their eyes on the road and not on their phone.

In addition, the It Can Wait 3D virtual reality simulator visit to the Putnam County raises awareness for AAA’s 100 Deadliest Days for Drivers – the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day when teen crash fatalities historically climb. With more young and inexperienced drivers, motorcycles, farm vehicles and bicyclists on the road, as well as pedestrians, it’s a great reminder for teen drivers to put the phone down while driving.

WHEN:                 Tuesday, July 25, 10am – 4:30 pm

***At 10 a.m. there will be a short media briefing and photo opportunity to unveil the simulator to the public with Putnam County Executive Odell, Sheriff Smith, County Clerk Bartolotti and Regina Ennis of AT&T.

WHERE:               Putnam County DMV Parking Lot, Kern Building, 1 Geneva Drive, Brewster NY

WHAT:                 When you’re behind the wheel, everything can change in the blink of an eye. A post, a selfie, a text, a scroll, an email—one look is all it takes. This simulation shows the consequences of glancing at a phone while driving in a 3D fully-immersive experience.

People can also use their own smartphone to view the 360° experience at home.  To learn more, visit ItCanWait.com/VR.

The nationwide virtual reality simulator tour focuses on the dangers of smartphone distractions while driving and the unique virtual reality simulator experience is part of the AT&T It Can Wait campaign, which urges drivers to keep their eyes on the road, not on their phones. The campaign began with a focus on not texting and driving. It has now expanded to the broader dangers of smartphone use behind the wheel.

Since its launch in 2010, the It Can Wait campaign has:

  • Helped grow awareness of the dangers of smartphone distracted driving to nearly 90% of audiences surveyed.
  • Inspired more than 15 million pledges to not drive distracted.
  • Worked with departments of transportation in various states on research that suggests a correlation between IT CAN WAIT campaign activities and a reduction in crashes.
  • Collaborated with AT&T data scientists on research that shows how statewide anti-texting laws impact the rate of texting while driving.

VISUALS:

  • ·         3D virtual reality simulator
  • ·         Opportunity for reporters/videographers/photojournalists to experience simulator
  • ·         Interview opportunities with simulator “drivers,” Putnam County Executive Odell, Sheriff Smith, County Clerk Bartolotti and Ennis of AT&T.
  • ·         It Can Wait sizzle reel

 * 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.

 ** 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.