National Consumers League

This September 19, remember: 'It Can Wait'


By John Breyault, NCL Vice President of Public Policy, Telecommunications and Fraud “My aunt was in a car accident. She was texting and driving and drove off the edge of a bridge that didn’t have any guard rails. Her skull was crushed in and she was killed instantly. That haunts me every day. I want to take the pledge for her, and for my family and friends. #itcanwait” – Kelsey, TN Today is September 19, 2012. While it may seem like any other Wednesday, it’s a special day for consumers concerned about the rising numbers of serious accidents attributed to texting while driving.  The quote above comes from a consumer who wrote in to, a website created by AT&T in partnership with more than a dozen community organizations (including NCL) to raise awareness about the dangers of texting while driving. The numbers are frightening.  A 2009 Virginia Tech study found that operators of heavy vehicles or trucks are more than 23 times as likely to risk a crash or near-crash as non-distracted drivers.  A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention founds that 58 percent of high school seniors said they texted or emailed while driving. About 6,000 deaths and half a million injuries are attributed to distracted driving per year, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Clearly, texting while driving is an issue that continues to pose a major threat to consumers, despite the significant numbers of states and localities that have outlawed texting while driving.  Despite these laws, thousands of drivers continue to get hurt due to distracted driving, and particularly texting while driving. More needs to be done to educate consumers about the dangers of distracted driving. This is why NCL is proud to support AT&T’s “It Can Wait” consumer education campaign.  If you haven’t already done so, head over to and sign the pledge to refrain from texting while driving.  Today is “Pledge Day,” so encourage your friends to support the campaign by sharing information about the campaign on Facebook and tweeting about it with the #itcanwait hashtag. Remember, no life is worth risking over a text message. As Val from Texas put it: Life >>>>> A silly little text message #itcanwait