Today is "It Can Wait Day" in the city of Tyler. Tyler Mayor Barbara Bass will be make this announcement today at a press conference in conjunction with the Tyler Police Department and AT&T.

The goal of the day is to encourage drivers to put the phone down while driving and stop reading text messages and, even worse, texting and sending those messages while driving. There are some attention-grabbing details and statics when it comes to texting and driving that has been released by the City of Tyler:

  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) estimate that nearly eighty percent of crashes and 65 percent of near crashes involve some form of driver inattention.
  • NHTSA and VTTI estimate that driver distraction is a factor in approximately 4.78 million crashes, resulting in two million injuries, more than 34,000 fatalities, and as much as $184 billion in economic damages annually.
  • VTTI found that truck drivers face a crash risk or near crash risk 23 times greater when texting than when not texting.
  • The American Media Association called text messaging while driving “a public health risk,” citing a study that found text messaging while driving causes a 400 percent increase in time spent with eyes off the road.

In addition, the City of Tyler along with AT&T and other wireless carriers are raising public awareness of the risks of texting and driving especially among the youth and that any text can wait until after driving.