From left, Assemblywoman Joann Downey; Amit C. Misra, M.D., pediatric intensivist,
The Unterberg Children’s Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center; Senator
Jennifer Beck; and Charlene Brown, External Affairs Executive Director, AT&T
According to research compiled by AT&T, seven in 10 people engage in
smartphone activities while driving. In an effort to raise awareness of
the dangers of distracted driving, Monmouth Medical Center, Monmouth Medical
Center, Southern Campus, Safe Kids NJ-Monmouth-Ocean Chapter, and AT&T
joined together at Pier Village in Long Branch for a community education
event through AT&T’s
It Can Wait campaign. The campaign, introduced in 2010, utilizes virtual reality to
urge drivers to keep their eyes on the road, not on their phones.
During the event, participants were able to “drive” a virtual
reality (VR) simulator to experience why no text, post, selfie or scroll
is worth a life. The event gave Pier Village visitors and beachgoers a
chance to safely experience how dangerous it can be when drivers take
their eyes off the road to look at their smartphones.
Monmouth Medical Center pediatric intensivist Amit C Misra, M.D., joined 11th Legislative District representatives Senator Jennifer Beck and Assemblywoman
Joann Downey and Carol Ann Giardelli, director of Safe Kids New Jersey,
to draw attention to the important safety message regarding smartphone
distractions while driving. The Unterberg Children’s Hospital’s
Safe Kids chapter offered safety information along with games and prizes
and Fun 107.1 and Thunder 106 provided entertainment and giveaways.
According to Dr. Misra, Monmouth Medical Center supports the campaign to
prevent accidents due to smartphone usage while driving. “Our message
is simple — focus on driving and don’t use smartphones while
you’re behind the wheel,” he said.
The campaign includes an immersive experience, delivered through Samsung
Gear VR, with premium sound from Bose QuietComfort® 25 Acoustic Noise
Cancelling® Headphones. Google Cardboard is a resource that lets people
use their own smartphones to see the 3D virtual reality program.
According to Giardelli, Safe Kids surveyed 1,000 teens about texting while
driving. Survey results showed 39 percent of teens said they have ridden
with a teen driver who was texting and 95 percent said they think other
teens have ridden with drivers who were texting.
It Can Wait campaign began with a focus on not texting and driving but has since been
expanded to focus on the broader dangers of smartphone use behind the
wheel. Since its inception, the campaign has helped grow awareness of
the dangers of smartphone distracted driving to more than 90 percent of
audiences surveyed and inspired more than 8 million pledges to keep their
eyes on the road, not on their phones. To experience the program at home, visit