The dangers of texting and driving are now well known. Starting on October 1st, Florida will finally join the ranks of states which prohibit it.

Given that, it’s an opportune time to mention a short film on the subject released last month by legendary German filmmaker Werner Herzog. Herzog’s film, From One Second to the Next, is a 35-minute documentary which examines texting and driving tragedies.

The film opens with a grim statistic: there are 100,000 accidents involving texting and driving per year, and the numbers are rising.

From there, Herzog turns to interviewing the people involved. There is a boy in Milwaukee, partially paralyzed, wheelchair bound, and on a ventilator. There is a middle-aged woman in Vermont left nearly blind and unable to work after being struck at her mailbox. There is a young woman in Utah trying to cope after the death of her father.

But Herzog doesn’t stop with the victims. He also interviews some of the texting drivers who caused the accidents. They are revealed as otherwise decent people wracked with guilt about what they’ve done. They could be anyone’s friends or neighbors.

The film is not overwrought or manipulative. Instead, it has an enormous but understated emotional power. I highly recommend it to parents and their children who are learning to drive. If you watch it, you will not forget it.

From One Second to the Next is available on YouTube.

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