We’re sure many of you have seen Vlingo ads on your mobile phone but now we are pretty excited to show off some new advertising we are doing in California! Check out the Vlingo billboard with the Hollywood sign in the background! Pretty cool! We want to encourage drivers to practice safe driving.

While many states have adopted driving while texting laws, we know that drivers won’t always abide by those laws. In an effort to try to help keep roads safe, we recently launched a new feature for BlackBerry users called Safe Reader (to be rolled out to other platforms this year). For those of you not familiar with SafeReader, the feature provides drivers with a safer, easier way to consume incoming text and email messages. Rather than fumbling to retrieve and read messages while on the road – which is illegal in MANY states, SafeReader reads them aloud so drivers never have to take their eyes off of the road or hands off of the wheel.

The concept for SafeReader originated from and developed as a result of a survey we conducted this year. We asked over 4800 people nationwide what their attitudes and habits nationwide around the topic of driving while texting (DWT). According to initial 2010 results, 93% of consumers today believe reading or typing a text message while driving is as unsafe as not wearing a seatbelt, yet a quarter of those surveyed admit to having done it in the past. In fact, 66% believe the practice presents one of the biggest distractions drivers face on the road. Complete survey results will be published soon!.

A report release last year summer by Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), also states that individuals who text message were found to be 23x more likely to crash than non-distracted drivers. Yikes!

Be Safe on the Road. Get Vlingo!

Erin Keleher, Senior Marketing Communications Manager, Vlingo