AT&T Chief Speaks Out on Texting at the Wheel
Chicagoland’s Injury Lawyers at Grazian and Volpe have been adamant in informing the public against the dangers of serious injury due to car accidents that occur when a driver is texting. We are pleased to see that a prominent carrier is raising awareness on this issue and the message is personal and starting at the top.
Randall L. Stephenson, the chairman and chief executive of AT&T, spoke at a conference in New York to hundreds of major investors, including Fortune 500 executives. The topic was the state of the telecom businesses, but he began with a request on a different topic: Please don’t text and drive.
Mr. Stephenson said that a few years ago someone close to him caused an accident while texting. As he has become more vocal about texting and driving, he said people were coming up to him and writing him with their own stories of tragedy, including admissions that they caused accidents.
The smartphone “is a product we sell and it’s being used inappropriately.” For him, that means the company he runs has to get involved in a public awareness campaign. “we have got to drive behavior.”
While safety say that history shows that public service campaigns have had limited success on issues like drunken driving or seat belt use unless they are paired with strong laws and that is something Mr. Stephenson opposes.
David D. Teater, senior director of the National Safety Council, had a son killed by a driver talking on her phone. He states that he is pleased to see telecommunications companies no longer lobbying against laws aimed at curbing driver distraction caused by electronic devices.
“We’d love their support on the legislative side,” he said of AT&T’s position. “But the fact they’re are not opposing us is good.”
Currently 39 states ban testing while driving. Research shows that the activity sharply increases the risk of crash, even beyond the risk posed by someone with a .08 blood alcohol level, the legal limit in many states. Yet researchers say that there is no indication drivers are less incline to text and drive, and there is some indication that the behavior is increasing.
Drivers need be aware of the dangers of mobile devices while driving and not ignore the dangers because this activity is not prohibited by legislation.
Remember, it is always better to stay safe but if you can’t stay safe, stay with Grazian and Volpe, Chicagoland’s Injury Lawyers for over 30 years.