PHOTO: Jim Sheaffer via Flickr

PHOTO: Jim Sheaffer via Flickr

As Asian American women, we experience our fair share of stereotypes, like how we’re all bad drivers. Combined with the widespread use of technology when driving, including smartphones, our reputations on the road haven’t exactly been given opportunity to improve. However, distracted driving affects all races and genders. The problem is that smartphones have become a major source of convenience, used for more than just talking or texting. Mochi staffers are all in different phases of life, from college students to young professionals, but we grew up with technology and love using it. With GPS or traffic apps like Waze, we’re able to navigate roads quicker. With Bluetooth technology or music apps like Spotify, we can listen to our favorite songs to make our drives more enjoyable. Unfortunately, this only adds to the number of distractions we face as drivers.

That’s why this year, Mochi staffers are joining over ten million people from the past six years in taking the pledge toward the 21 day challenge, a part of AT&T’s IT CAN WAIT campaign running from January 4th to the 24th. The goal is that by the end of the challenge, we’ll break bad habits (and stereotypes) when it comes to driving distracted.

Why is this important? According to recent research, only 58% of habitual distracted drivers consider smartphone usage while behind the wheel “very dangerous,” as opposed to 78% of non-habitual distracted drivers, because of a false sense of security. Ironically though, habitual distracted drivers are twice as likely to experience near crashes or collisions.

With passengers in the car, 36% of drivers admitted to still using smartphones, but if a child was in the car, only 30% did. Why should there be a difference? And it only gets worse when we’re driving alone – 64% of drivers have admitted to using their smartphones if they’re in a car by themselves. While we may think it’s safer when we’re alone, that’s not actually true – there’s always going to be something outside that needs a driver’s attention. It’s not just for our benefit – it’s about keeping all the other drivers on the road safe too.

Join us and pledge here that for 21 consecutive days, you can put your phone away when you’re behind the wheel. If you really need some apps like GPS, you can download AT&T’s DriveMode App to help minimize distractions while using your phone safely.

Nearly one-third of people who’ve already shared their pledge with others now ask a driver not to use their smartphone and four-in-ten ask a passenger to operate their smartphone for them while driving. How will your driving habits change if you pledge?

Keep up with Mochi staffers on their challenge journey with #ItCanWait and #MochiMag, while not driving of course. Then follow Mochi Magazine on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and share your challenge progress by tagging us for a chance to win some cool swag, courtesy of AT&T.

This is a sponsored blog post in partnership with AT&T and the It Can Wait campaign. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

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