Contact: James Carskadon
STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State University and the University of Mississippi are going head-to-head for a good cause this month in AT&T’s “It Can Wait” Virtual Reality Egg Bowl.
From Nov. 1-11, MSU will compete to get the most fans to take a pledge against distracted driving by texting “ICWMSU” to 50555. The school with the most people taking the pledge will be named winner of the “It Can Wait” Virtual Reality Egg Bowl.
On Friday [Nov. 4], AT&T, in partnership with MSU’s Division of Student Affairs, will present the “It Can Wait” Virtual Reality Simulator in the Colvard Student Union. The simulator will provide first-hand lessons on the dangers of distracted driving from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
With the competition, MSU and AT&T are reminding students, faculty and community members that no text, post, email or web search is worth a life.
“The quick look at a text message or the selfie taken while driving down the road could be the difference between life and death,” MSU Vice President for Student Affairs Regina Hyatt said. “Our ‘It Can Wait’ challenge brings attention to these little moments, all of which can wait until we aren’t putting our lives or the lives of others at risk. On campus, this is particularly important as we have so many pedestrians crossing the roadways, so we all can be reminded of the importance of waiting until we are out of the car to catch up on what’s happening on Instagram or Snapchat.”
According to AT&T, 95 percent of drivers disapprove of distracted driving, but it causes more than 431,000 crashes a year. AT&T research shows that smartphone use while driving has grown to include texting, social media, web surfing, selfies and video chatting. With the “It Can Wait” challenge, AT&T is encouraging drivers to take the pledge to “keep your eyes on the road, not on your phone.”
“Mobile devices have changed the way we communicate and should be used wisely and safely, leaving drivers distraction-free behind the wheel,” said AT&T Mississippi President Mayo Flynt. “AT&T is proud to partner with Mississippi State and Ole Miss to offer the Virtual Reality Egg Bowl, increasing awareness of distracted driving dangers. Only one team will win the football game, but many more students and fans across our state will win much more by pledging to keep their eyes on the road, not on their phone.”
For more on AT&T’s “It Can Wait” campaign, visit itcanwait.com. To take the pledge against distracted driving, text ICWMSU to 50555. Standard text messaging rates apply.
MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.