New Documentary Shows High Price Of Texting While Driving

A newly released short film from acclaimed documentarian Warner Herzog demonstrates the tragic effects of lives forever altered by distracted driving accidents, and has thrust the topic back into the spotlight. Herzog’s film features interviews with the families of victims as well as the drivers whose texting behind the wheel caused fatal accidents.

Part Of A Broader Message

Surprisingly, the film project was conceived and funded by the four major cellphone service providers (AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile) as an extended-length public service announcement. The film is the latest in a series of attention-grabbing spots that are part of the “Texting & Driving, It Can Wait” campaign.

The campaign is backed by the same major cell service providers that funded Herzog’s film, and has been endorsed by safety watchdog organizations throughout West Virginia and around the country for its forthright portrayal of the hazards of distracted driving. It encourages drivers to sign a pledge that they won’t read/send text messages, surf the web, watch videos or read/send email while behind the wheel.

The Sobering Truth

According to data provided by the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 3,300 people were killed in car accidents caused by distracted drivers in 2011 (the most recent year for which such data is available), and nearly 400,000 more were injured. Those sobering statistics led the NHTSA to create its own distracted driver education program, “Distraction.Gov,” the self-proclaimed “Official U.S. Government Website for Distracted Driving.”

Thinking Outside The Box

The NHTSA’s site goes farther than the “It Can Wait” campaign in that it also educates visitors about non-technological things or activities that can be just as distracting – and potentially fatal – as texting or surfing the web. The site mentions the dangers posed by texting and emailing, but also cautions drivers against other activities that can be dangerous when done behind the wheel, particularly at highway speeds, including:

  • Eating and drinking
  • Changing the music selection on the radio, a CD or an mp3 player
  • Having animated conversations with passengers
  • Reading (even maps or GPS devices)
  • Grooming (putting on makeup, shaving, brushing hair, etc.)

In spite of hard data demonstrating a causal link directly between distracted driving and car accidents, thousands of drivers get behind the wheel each day without their full attention focused on the road ahead. Have you or a loved one been injured in a collision with a distracted driver? Are you concerned about medical bills or lost wages that have put your financial future in jeopardy? For more information about legal avenues to hold distracted drivers accountable for the injuries they have caused, speak with an experienced West Virginia personal injury today.