It only takes a second to glance away from the road and check an incoming text. In that one second, great damage can occur that permanently destroys entire families. According to the National Safety Council, more than 100,000 crashes a year can be blamed on texting and driving. The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that just two years ago, nearly 3,500 people were killed and 387,000 were injured by distracted driving accidents, and that number is almost certain to rise. 

Not if acclaimed filmmaker Werner Herzog can help it.

A newly released documentary powerfully spends 35 minutes detailing stories of those whose lives were forever changed by texting and driving collisions. “From One Second to the Next” hopes to reach millions with the message that too often, “In one second, entire lives are either wiped out or changed forever.” 

It Can Wait

In May 2013, AT&T released commercials aimed at bringing to light the issue of texting and driving through its #itcanwait campaign. Getting drivers to take a pledge to never text and drive is the main goal of, but the website offers a variety of informative tools and outreach possibilities. A texting and driving simulator offers visitors the opportunity to see how dangerous distracted driving can be, and the chance to upload a personal story to share with others is highlighted.

Perhaps the most life-changing feature of this site is the ability to download apps that help prevent and discourage texting and driving. Tested on my own phone, AT&T’s DriveMode enables itself when the car reaches 25mph, making it difficult to use the phone’s features without bypassing a set of off switches. The app sends customizable auto-reply messages to your friends while the app is enabled. In addition to AT&T DriveMode for Blackberry and Android, there is a SafelyGo app for both Sprint and Verizon.

Not Just a Teen Problem

While an AT&T Wireless survey revealed that 75% of teens say that texting and driving is “common” among their friends, a whopping 49% of commuters text and drive, compared with 43% of teens. What’s worse is that three years ago, six of ten commuters would never have considered texting and driving. Society’s entrance into the digital world of smartphones has created a situation that could potentially get as out of hand as drinking and driving. 

AT&T first proposed the video documentary in response to the growing concern for public safety, and Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile jumped on board as sponsors. More than 40,000 high schools nationwide will receive a copy of the film, in addition to safety organizations and government agencies. Let’s hope that the message gets to those who need it most, before they too become a statistic that could have been a featured story in Herzog’s latest documentary.

P.S. Join us and AT&T on September 19th, when we'll celebrate Drive 4 Pledges Day
Posted 3:33 PM

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