We’ve talked a lot about solutions to the¬†texting and driving issue, from apps to hands-free devices you install in your car. And now ATT is doing more on the¬†third anniversary of their popular¬†It Can Wait¬†campaign, by asking for more lifetime pledges, and promoting their new #X social hashtag.

The idea of the¬†hashtag is that teens (or anyone for that matter) text or tweet a message ending¬†with #X as an indicator that they are now driving and not accepting texts. They’ve even launched a PSA with Demi Lovato¬†about it.

Now, I still think that an app that actually blocks texts while you drive – or a simple do not disturb on your phone – might be more immediately helpful; but the thing I like about the hashtag is that it gets the idea¬†out there more publicly. You see a celebrity (or even just a popular 16-year-old) tweet that she’s Heading to the movies now. #X¬†, and it creates interest around the meaning, and maybe even inspires a few other kids to start using it too.

#X safe texting campaign from ATT

The ATT site also offers¬†tips on creating a texting shortcut¬†for Android or iOS so you can easily text something like I’m getting on the road, text you when I’m done. #X

Or Practicing safe text! Talk later. #X

There are more tools at ItCanWait.com like¬†a few apps of their own including the well-regarded¬†ATT Drive Mode¬†for Android (oddly incompatible with my own HTC Nexus), which sends an auto-reply when your car is moving 25 MPH or faster and a few other nifty things. It’s also available for Blackberry, but do you know any teens with Blackberries?¬†There’s also their¬†Safely Go app¬†which has some similar functions¬†for Android users, as well as¬†the ability to add three VIPs whose texts can get through. That could kind of defeat¬†the purpose in the hands of a teen, but for an adult, I’m thinking a caregiver, your kid’s school, and your significant other might make great sense.

Safely Go app helps prevent texting and driving | coolmomtech.com

(Also, ATT! How about a little something for all those iPhone 5c-owning teens these days?)

With 100,000 texting related car accidents each year according to the National Safety Council, I think any effort helps. Because if it prevents even one accident from happening–and that car is carrying¬†someone you love in it–then that’s plenty.

Today, you can join more than 5 million people in taking the¬†It Can Wait Pledge. Visit ATT’s¬†¬†ItCanWait.com¬†for ¬†more info.

 

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