Controversial filmmaker Werner Herzog has teamed up with phone service AT&T to create a short documentary about the dangers of texting while driving.
Called “From One Second to the Next,” the roughly half-hour film details the reality of both victims and perpetrators behind tragedies involved with someone holding a digital conversation while behind the wheel of a vehicle capable of destroying lives. Herzog admitted to the AP that while he wasn’t personally affected by it, the subject matter resonated deeply with him. “What AT&T proposed immediately clicked and connected inside of me,” said Herzog. “There’s a completely new culture out there. I’m not a participant of texting and driving—or texting at all—but I see there’s something going on in civilization which is coming with great vehemence at us.”
The documentary, which will also be shown in more than 40,000 high schools and hundreds of government organizations and businesses, will hopefully be a major participant in the national realization that texting while driving is insanely dangerous. I would rather be on the road with a drunk driver than someone who is arrogant enough to think they can divert their attention for the span of sending a text. As Chandler Gerber, a driver who hit and killed three people while texting attests on the doc: even a phrase as simple as “I love you” is enough to be fatal.
The only shortcoming of this emotionally powerful narrative is that it fails to show the true scourge of texting while driving — little blonde teenage girls who drive bright blue convertible Cabriolets. This is a segment of the population that I envision will take nothing from this documentary because they will be sitting in their driver’s ed classes thinking, “Well yeah, these older people caused accidents, but I grew up with texting. I’m really good at it.” For me, the documentary doesn’t bring its own biggest demographic into the picture sharply enough. Most people pretty much need to be hit over the head with an anecdote from their own peer group to have the message reach their core. Young kids need to see one of their own at fault. But otherwise, this film is mostly good and I believe it will save lives.
My wife has an issue with texting while driving (though my constant hassling is making a dent when I’m in the car at least), so you’d better believe I am putting this documentary on for her.