Watch a documentary about texting while driving by Werner Herzog

If you haven’t seen this already, “From One Second to the Next” is a powerful documentary about texting and driving by director Werner Herzog, commissioned by AT&T.  The documentary focuses on four accidents that occurred as a result of distracted driving.

For another point of view on this subject, here is a link to a story about a study which indicates that cellphone use does not cause more car crashes.  Here is part of their article:

“Using a cellphone while driving may be distracting, but it does not lead to higher crash risk in the setting we examined,” said Saurabh Bhargava, assistant professor of social and decision sciences in CMU’s Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences. “While our findings may strike many as counterintuitive, our results are precise enough to statistically call into question the effects typically found in the academic literature. Our study differs from most prior work in that it leverages a naturally occurring experiment in a real-world context.”…

Additionally, the researchers analyzed the effects of legislation banning cellphone use, enacted in several states, and similarly found that the legislation had no effect on the crash rate. “One thought is that drivers may compensate for the distraction of cellphone use by selectively deciding when to make a call or consciously driving more carefully during a call,” Bhargava said. “This is one of a few explanations that could explain why laboratory studies have shown different results. The implications for policymakers considering bans depend on what is actually driving this lack of an effect. For example, if drivers do compensate for distraction, then penalizing cellphone use as a secondary rather than a primary offense could make sense. In the least, this study and others like it, suggest we should revisit the presumption that talking on a cellphone while driving is as dangerous as widely perceived.” Pathania, a fellow in the London School of Economics Managerial Economics and Strategy group, added a cautionary note. “Our study focused solely on talking on one’s cellphone. We did not, for example, analyze the effects of texting or Internet browsing, which has become much more popular in recent years. It is certainly possible that these activities pose a real hazard.”
Note: I had seen the Herzog documentary in various places on the web, but it was Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish blog that connected it with the study on use of cellphones while driving.

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