AT&T has been making its rounds to high schools across the United States in an attempt to discourage teens from texting while behind the wheel. A computerized car that allows teens to virtually text and drive is being used as part of AT&T’s “It Can Wait” campaign, a 32-city nationwide tour that began on May 8th and will end on June 2nd.

The texting and driving simulator uses a headpiece that teens look through while they drive through a virtual neighborhood. Teens are then instructed to send a text message, requiring them to take their eyes off of the road. Within seconds, teens begin crashing, demonstrating how taking your eyes off the road for just a couple of seconds can cause an accident.

Almost 100 percent of teens agreed that it was dangerous to text and drive, yet 43 percent admitted to doing it anyway. Many teens admitted that this simulation helped them to see how quickly accidents can happen due to texting and driving.

Although the campaign is directed towards teens, adult drivers have admitted to texting and driving as well. Thirty-eight states now have laws banning drivers from using their phones to send text messages. Thirty-one states ban all cell phone use by new drivers.

AT&T has committed to a four-year, million-dollar campaign toward preventing texting and driving. Among the many ways AT&T is addressing the issue of texting and driving is the new application, DriveMode, that sends auto-reply messages to notify others that the person they have text messaged is behind the wheel. AT&T has also created a 10-minute documentary titled “The Last Text” which features people whose lives have been affected by texting while behind the wheel. “The Last Text” can be viewed here.

Please remember, the only safe way to text behind the wheel is by pulling off the road and making a complete stop before reaching for your phone.