This holiday season, the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA), AT&T, and Governor Martin O'Malley want you to stay safe on your drive home: don't text and drive.
On Wednesday, students from Glen Burnie High School will get a special opportunity to learn safe habits in conjunction with AT&T’s “It Can Wait” campaign, which is raising awareness about safe driving across the country. According to a recent study, you are 23 times more likely to get in a car accident while texting and driving.
In August, the Maryland Highway Safety Office launched the "Toward Zero Deaths-Maryland" campaign, and Governor Martin O'Malley also proclaimed September 19, 2012 "No Text On Board Pledge Day" in Maryland. According to the proclamation, an average of 55,000 distracted driving related crashes occur annually in Maryland; more people die in traffic crashes than they do in violent crimes in Maryland. More than 500 people die on Maryland roads every year .
The Glen Burnie High School students will sit in a real car hooked up to a virtual game. Students will attempt to drive virtually while texting on their phone. Most people only last a few seconds before “crashing” in practice.
“We’re all working toward zero deaths in Maryland,” said John Kuo, MVA Administrator and Governor O’Malley’s Highway Safety Representative. “Every single time you take your eyes off the road or talk on the phone while you're driving - even for just a few seconds - you put yourself and others in danger. The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration is committed to ending distracted driving, and, with partners like AT&T and event like this one, we will continue to spread this message.” (source: AT&T).
The MVA has shared information about the “It Can Wait” initiative with its more than 2,000 staff statewide. Visitors to any of the 24 MVA branch offices statewide can learn more about how they can pledge not to text through special messages broadcast on video monitors in the MVA offices.
The Simulator will be available all members of the public 10AM - 2PM at the MVA headquarters in Glen Burnie, Maryland on Wednesday, October 24.