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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Texting and Driving, the Aftermath in a Movie

“From One Second to the Next”

Corporate videos are not often noted for their searing emotional content.

But “From One Second to the Next,” a short documentary about texting and driving commissioned by AT&T from the acclaimed director Werner Herzog, tells four deeply harrowing tales of lives altered by a driver’s focus on a phone rather than on the road.

Mr. Herzog’s interviews with the mother of a child paralyzed from the diaphragm down after being hit by a texting driver, and with a man who struck an Amish family while sending a text on the road, show how everyday messages like “I love you” and “I’m on my way” proved devastating.

Though the issue is not new â€" my colleague Matt Richtel, and other members of the staff of The New York Times won a Pulitzer Prize in 2010 for a series on the dangers of distracted driving â€" Mr. Herzog’s take must rank among the most moving views of the subject.

“I don’t remember what I was texting. I don’t remember what the message said,” Reggie Shaw, a young man who caused an accident near Logan, Utah, that killed two scientists on Sept. 22, 2006, says in the film. “That’s how important it was.”

The film will be distributed to more than 40,000 high schools, AT&T said, as well as to government agencies and safety organizations.