From One Second to the Next is a haunting documentary about the dangers of texting and driving. To drive home its powerful message, German filmmaker Werner Herzog points the camera at both the victims and the texting drivers.
The stories are devastating.
The first is about an eight-year-old boy named Xzavier. A texting driver runs a stop sign, crosses into the oncoming lane, and hits Xzavier who is holding his sister's hand. Xzavier is paralyzed.
He was a boy with so much energy, says his mother. He was obsessed with football when most kids his age only cared about Sesame Street.
The second story follows Chandler, a young husband and soon-to-be father. He texts "I love you" to his wife while on his way to work. Eyes on his phone, he hits an Amish buggy from behind killing a three-, five-, and 17-year-old.
"I wish so [badly] I could go back to that day and change my focus," says Chandler. "I wish I could go back and say, 'You know, I can do these texts when I get there.'"
"Please, please don't ever text and drive," Chandler pleads to the camera. "It's life. You get one chance and you live with the choices you make."
The third story is about Debbie, a successful, caring professional focused on family and career. She is struck by the car of a texting teenager when walking her dog. Debbie's arms, neck, ankle, leg, and ribs are broken in the accident. Her thumb is ripped from her hand. She suffers massive brain trauma. The dog, Debbie's best friend, is killed. Debbie now needs around-the-clock care. She went from being active to inactive in a second, says her brother.
The final story is about Reggie. While texting, he crosses the centre line and sideswipes an oncoming car causing it to spin sideways and into the path of a white pickup truck. Unable to avoid the collision, the driver of the pickup hits the passenger side of the car. Both passengers are killed.
"I decided that texting and driving was more important to me than those two men were to their families," says Reggie. "How selfish that was of me to make that decision to text and drive."
Since the accident, Reggie has devoted his life to speaking about the dangers of distracted driving. "That accident was preventable...I put that phone away and I save those two lives. It's that easy," he says.
Reggie's story needs to be heard. The documentary will be shown in 40,000 schools across the U.S. It is also featured at itcanwait.com, a website campaigning against texting and driving.
Do you know anyone who texts and drives or who looks at emails while driving? Please share this story with them. Play it forward, from one person to the next. Save a life.