I watched a short documentary on texting and driving last night on Netflix called From One Second To The Next. I’m always on the lookout for interesting new documentaries to watch and the subject is a timely one considering how many people have cell phones and insist that they are completely capable of driving safely. The fact that it was only 34 minutes long also was a draw. In the end, I wish it had been longer because it was completely fascinating and heartbreaking.
The documentary profiles four different car accidents that resulted from texting and driving. In most cases, the texters are interviewed as well as the victims (if they survived) and their families. As the title of the film suggests, all of these people’s lives were irrevocably altered in one second. Some lives ended, some wished their lives had ended. Some have enormous amounts of unresolved anger, others have channeled that anger into something more productive and, in one case, something very surprising.
I know that I’ve been guilty of thinking I can text on my phone while I’m driving, even though it’s illegal in Iowa to do it. Even before I watched From One Second To The Next, I realized that even by interacting with my phone while I’m behind the wheel of a car, I’m more distracted than even I know. The statistics state that texting while driving is the equivalent of driving after drinking 4 beers and that you’re 23 times more likely to cause an accident.
But all the statistics in the world don’t really seem to connect to people. These real life stories did. These people didn’t wake up that morning intending to kill someone or change their lives forever, but they did. It really made me think about how I use my phone when I’m driving. I had already been mostly ignoring text messages while I drive, and I don’t really talk on my phone that much anyway. After watching this, my phone goes away when I’m driving. All that is just not that important. And if it is that important, I have to make the time to pull over and not endanger my own life and the lives of those on the road with me.
As it turns out, you don’t even need Netflix to watch this documentary. It’s on YouTube and I’ve embedded it below. It should be required viewing for all teen drivers and anyone who thinks that they can text, web surf or, frankly, talk on their phone while driving. It’s just not worth it.