Many people have seen the new video shown on television by AT & T, called “It Can Wait.” The video highlights—very graphically—the dangers of distracted driving. There are four vignettes in the video including a man going home after work, a boy riding his bicycle, a woman outside in her yard watering plants and a mother driving with her daughter in the backseat. These characters all come together traumatically when the mother looks down at her phone as it pings with social media notifications. A horrifying collision ends the video, leaving viewers feeling almost ill. The message of the video is that there is absolutely nothing which happens on a phone screen which is worth the risk of an accident, especially a fatal accident.
A number of video spots, including some by AT & T, have focused on drivers who text and drive, however this newest video is the first which shows that texting isn’t the only distraction drivers engage in when behind the wheel. As if we weren’t aware of the just how dangerous texting and driving is, it appears adults and teens are now checking social media and browsing the Web as they drive. In research done by AT & T, the company found more than a quarter of drivers admit to checking Facebook while driving, while 14 percent say they check Twitter while driving. In this latest video, the entire crash is played in reverse, up until the point the driver reaches for her phone. Hopefully this will remind those watching the video that in real life, a rewind button simply doesn’t exist.
How Prevalent is Distracted Driving?
In 2013, 424,000 people were injured and 3,154 killed in automobile collisions which involved a distracted driver. At least 10 percent of all drivers below the age of 20 who were involved in a fatal auto collision were reported as being distracted at the time of the crash, and, in fact, this age group has the greatest number of distracted drivers. Drivers in their 20’s make up a little more than a quarter of distracted drivers who are involved in a fatal auto crash. Across the United States, at any given moment, there are some 650,000 + drivers using cell phones or electronic devices.
In the end, distraction is distraction and those who watch the AT & T video may certainly think twice about engaging in distractions.
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