Oprah isn’t the only one hoping drivers will ditch the urge to text while driving and keep their eyes on the road. Telecom giant AT&T recently released a short documentary titled, “The Last Text” which features stories of those whose lives have been shattered due to distracted driving.
The documentary is apart of AT&T’s “It Can Wait” campaign, which hopes to educate its consumers about the dangers of texting while driving.
Although many of us know that distracted driving can be extremely dangerous, some still feel they can safely text while navigating the road. Several states have enacted legislation against distracted driving, but scores of drivers ignore the laws. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), 5,474 people died due to distracted driving in 2009, with another 448,000 people injured.
AT&T is hoping its documentary will help lessen the numbers of those hurt or killed due to distracted driving.
“Our goal is to help make texting while driving as socially unacceptable as drinking and driving,” said Gail Torreano, a senior vice president with AT&T. “We want this to be in every school in the country and for teenagers to know a text message is not worth a life.”
AT&T’s documentary is absolutely heartbreaking. The film opens with a Missouri state trouper revisiting the site of a teenager’s death. He describes noticing 18-year-old Mariah West’s shoes lying in the road, her cap and gown still in her car, and her face being badly disfigured by the accident. Recalling the horrific scene visibly moves the police officer, and the audience cannot help but feel his, and the surviving family members’, pain.
AT&T plans on distributing the documentary to schools, safety organizations and government agencies. It has also set up an “It Can Wait” page on Facebook and wants consumers to take its pledge not to text and drive.
If you don’t resolve to do anything else this New Year, please make a promise to yourself to stay safe. When you’re driving, put the phone down.