I recently hosted an intervention party on behalf of AT&T where I invited family and friends to celebrate a Seahawks game and then surprised them with a different agenda and an important message to stop distracted driving. As my guests got comfortable and settled in, I gathered them together for a heart to heart about the temptation to look at our phones while driving. I expected a few moans and groans, they were waiting for a Seahawks game after all…but my partygoers were extremely receptive. We all talked about our experiences with distracted driving and my sister described a close call she had as a teen when she was forced to slam on her brakes for a car in front of her at the last minute because she was looking at her phone.
I gave each of my guests surveys to share anonymously whether or not they have engaged in smartphone-related distracted driving and all but one of them said yes. The anonymous guest who said they had never participated in that type of risky behavior left a note that read, “I don’t have my license yet.” I did have a handful of up and coming drivers participate in the intervention party because I wanted them to not only hear the message, but I wanted them to hold their parents accountable and I wanted them to experience how easily distracted driving can result in an accident.
To help with this experience, AT&T sent a virtual reality simulator that guests took turns wearing. With the headset on, you watch an event unfold where you are navigating from a character’s driveway and into the city. You experience the drive from the point of view of the driver who happens to look at his/her phone quite a bit. If you turn your head, you can actually see the backseat, an entire neighborhood, your legs…it’s as if you are actually in this world created by the simulator. There are a few close calls that are pretty startling. You glance at your phone as a group of children cross the street, you glance at your phone as traffic is merging into your lane on the freeway, you glance at your phone as a jogger comes into view with a stroller, and in an instant you are t-boned in an intersection because you weren’t paying attention.
It’s a really powerful way to drive in the message that it CAN wait. No accident is worth a glance at your phone. I encouraged all of my friends and family to take the It Can Wait pledge and I would love for you to take it too! AT&T aims to have 16 Million people pledge to stop distracted driving and currently 12.7 Million have been reached! You can also download the AT&T DriveMode App that communicates to anyone texting you that you are driving and will return a message when you have arrived at your destination safely.
Take a look at my party recap below and please join me in taking the pledge to end distracted driving!:
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of AT&T. The opinions and text are all mine.