There are many stories of people who took their eyes off the road for a second to read or type a message and ended up in an accident that changed their lives and the lives of others forever.
People who are living with the consequences of those experiences are the focus of a powerful new documentary, “From One Second to the Next,” created by acclaimed filmmaker Werner Herzog to reach millions with a message on the dangers of texting and driving.
In the 35-minute film, Herzog expands on the stories he tells through the 30-second “Texting & Driving … It Can Wait” spots launched in May by wireless carriers AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile USA, Inc. and Verizon.
By giving voice to the individuals who caused the accidents and the people whose lives have forever been changed by them, Herzog shows the devastating aftermath that can be created when a driver turns his or her attention to a single, meaningless text.
“When you get a message while driving, it’s hard not to pick up your phone,” said Herzog. “With this film, we want to help make people more aware of the potential consequences of that action.”
Nearly half of commuters self-reported texting while driving in a recent poll by AT&T, and 43 percent of those who did called it a “habit.”
Commuters are texting and driving even more than teens – 49 percent, compared to 43 percent. And the problem has gotten worse. Six in 10 commuters say they never texted while driving three years ago.
It happens a lot even though people know better— 98 percent of commuters surveyed said they know sending a text or email while driving isn’t safe
The “It Can Wait” campaign encourages individuals to pledge not to text and drive and provides ways for those who have made a personal commitment to influence others.
The documentary which is available at ItCanWait.com, is being distributed to more than 40,000 high schools nationwide, and hundreds of safety organizations and government agencies.
The “It Can Wait” campaign is supported by the four largest U.S. wireless carriers, more than 200 other organizations and companies (including USAA, the National Safety Council and Allstate’s Safe Driving Coalition) and thousands of individuals. The companies said the campaign has brought in more than 2 million pledges through ItCanWait.com, on Facebook, through text-to-pledge and tweet-to-pledge, and at events.