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Filmmaker Werner Herzog On Texting And Driving: You’ll Never Want To Text And Drive Again After Watching This Documentary

Texting and Driving
9 people are killed daily due to distracted driving, the CDC states. Creative Commons

He did it because AT&T asked him to – not to market a product, but to raise awareness against the use of cell phones while driving.

70-year-old filmmaker Werner Herzog, known for creating both fiction and nonfiction films, tackled an issue that perhaps many people register when driving, but often brush off. Sending a text may be quick and easy, they reason, especially when paused at a red light. Perhaps we have all been guilty of it.

But Herzog, who doesn’t text at all, saw texting and driving as a careless behavior that could wreak devastating consequences. "What AT&T proposed immediately clicked and connected inside of me,” he told the AP.

The CDC reports that every day, 9 people are killed and more than 1,050 people are injured in accidents that involve a distracted driver in the U.S. The use of texting has increased enormously in the past years, rising nearly 50 percent from 2009 to 196 billion texts sent and received in 2011.

The documentary, "From One Second to the Next," just about 35 minutes long, has been referred to as “haunting.” It covers four accidents -- Herzog interviews both the people who lost loved ones, as well as those texting behind the wheel who now have to live with guilt for the rest of their lives.

In one story, a young man with a child on the way, was texting his wife while driving to work. He didn’t realize he was approaching an Amish family riding in a buggy until after slamming into them – he killed 3 people almost instantly.

The text that he was sending to his wife when he hit them? “I love you.”

In the film, the unfortunate distracted drivers urged Americans to put the phone down when in the car. Their stories are deeply emotional and moving, enough to inspire you to never want to text and drive ever again.

The raising awareness project can be found on its website, Itcanwait.com.

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