"In one second, entire lives are either wiped out or changed forever." These are the word of legendary documentary filmmaker Werner Herzog, and he's talking about the deadly epidemic of texting while driving. In 2010, The National Safety Council estimated that 1.6 million crashes each year involve cell phones and texting, and Herzog has created an astoundingly powerful film that truly seems to have the potential to change these awful statistics.
The 35-minute film, titled From One Second to the Next, is available via YouTube. It's part of a campaign by AT&T to raise awareness about the dangers of texting and driving, and it will be distributed to over 40,000 high schools across the country.
I've included the clip in this post, and you should set aside some time to watch it. While From One Second to the Next is absolutely excruciating, everyone who's old enough to drive should see this film.
AT&T apparently approached Herzog a while back about directing a short film warning people about texting while driving, as part of their "It Can Wait" campaign. Herzog told the AP why he agreed:
This has nothing to do with consumerism or being part of advertising products. This whole campaign is, rather, dissuading you from excessive use of a product. What AT&T proposed immediately clicked and connected inside of me. There's a completely new culture out there. I'm not a participant of texting and driving—or texting at all—but I see there's something going on in civilization which is coming with great vehemence at us.
The resulting film is beyond haunting. In a series of gut-wrenching testimonials, we learn of four accidents caused by texting, some of them fatal. We meet Xzavier, an eight-year-old boy paralyzed from the diaphragm down. Reggie Shaw, who hit and killed two scientists in Utah in 2006. Debbie Drewniak, who was put into a coma for two months after being struck by a teenager. Chandler Gerber, who killed three children when he drove into a horse-drawn carriage carrying an Amish family.
My husband drives 90 miles to and from his job each weekday, and he says every single time he's on I-5 he sees tons of people staring down at the phones, typing away. It can be so tempting to think a quick text won't distract you from the road, but the accident reports prove otherwise.
From One Second to the Next is incredibly difficult to watch … and that's exactly why everyone should see it. Here's the film:
What did you think of this documentary? Are you glad it's being shown in high schools?
Image via YouTube