CHICAGO (AP) — AT&T is asking Americans to sign a pledge not to text behind the wheel as part of a campaign against distracted driving.

The issue has gained national attention with more crashes linked to the use of email and text messaging on smartphones and research showing how common the practice is.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has declared it a “national epidemic.”

In Illinois, Gov. Pat Quinn is supporting the effort to have drivers sign the no-texting pledge on Sept. 19 at

Illinois is one of 39 states that ban texting while driving.

AT&T started its campaign in 2009, producing a documentary and TV ads on the dangers of texting while driving. Other wireless providers including Sprint and Verizon also have public awareness efforts on the issue.

© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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