In the United States of America just like any developed or developing the world, technology has infiltrated into virtually every aspect of the peoples lives. The use of electronic devices in the United States cuts across age, social class, and economic status of individual households. The increased uptake of technology has proceeded with both benefits and demerits, which require a proactive response to leverage (Huang et al. 365). Despite the fact that proponents of technological innovation and use have advanced the idea that, inventions will continue to revolutionize and increase the effectiveness of operations in virtually every sphere, critics posit that unless demerits are leveraged, technology may turn out to be tragic. One critical area of concern about the use of technological devices is its effects on the transport industry, especially mobile phone use by drivers during driving. Drivers have been affected increasingly by the intrusion of the cell phone (Huang et al. 367). Today, the rates of accidents related to human error attributed to the use of mobile phones have been on the rise. More than one hundred thousand accidents occur annually due to careless use of cell phones by drivers such as texting while driving or receiving calls. The avoidable loss of lives on the roads have turned them into death traps and portray technology as disastrous if human behavior is not changed to embrace best practices in using it (Kahn et al.1033). Out of this impending tragedy attributable to the improper use of innovations, companies such as AT&T have taken proactive steps to send public service announcements to the users of such devices. In an attempt to encourage drivers to take the pledge of no texting while driving, AT&T released a YouTube video the Warner Herzog documentary called From One Second to Another in August 2013. The documentary depicts the devastation and terrible consequences (from handicapped to dead victims) of four car accidents caused by young people who did not stop to think that while driving, texting can wait. Although all the four car accidents captured in the footage have texting drivers as a common cause, they show no discrimination for geographical areas, age, gender, or peoples backgrounds. The documentary emphasizes with detail the deep wounds and feelings attached to the sudden and irreversible changes in the lives of victims mothers, surviving victims, and texting drivers. Therefore, it succeeds in touching sensitive social tenets in all kinds of audiences, thus making the documentary successful in its purpose of delivering the message: Do not text and drive.
The visual impression that the footage provides makes it effective in achieving its primary message of changing the behavior patterns among the drivers through the coded text Do not text and drive. The video also attains its success through stressing and making a profound emphasis on emotions and wounds inside the victims mother, inside the surviving victims themselves, and the texting drivers. Irrespective of the one whose actions lead to the devastating accidents, multitudes nurse permanent physical and psychological injuries that may last a lifetime. Some of the people affected by the irresponsible use of mobile phones have to contend with living with broken limbs, impaired vision, inability to hear, and different aspects of disabilities.
The lives and hopes of the mothers of surviving accident victims as well as the victims lives and hopes drastically change after the tragic experience. In the documentary, Valetta, the mother of X-Javier (an eight-year-old child ripped off her sisters hand by a moving car of a texting young female driver in Milwaukee, Wisconsin). The woman in the documentary gives in her testimony a clear idea of how X-Javier's accident has changed his son's life and hopes, as well as hers. The mother expresses her feelings of frustration and loss of a healthy child. The accident has forced X-Javier to depend completely on others, an artificial respirator, and a wheelchair. In the scene where Valetta is sitting on a coach while describing the facts of the accident and details of her terminated expectations for her son to become a football player, she griefs for a so-long-dreamed future that will never be possible with a disabled child. In her narration of the activeness and independence that her son used to enjoy before the accident, and the high degree of assistance he now needs from people and medical devices, she plainly and clearly expresses her deep wounds and change in life-pattern to the audience. In the film, Valetta is not just sitting there having a casual conversation. Her heart outpouring, she portrays the pain that parents, especially women endure at the sight of a disabled child arising from evitable human error.
The other in the documentary shares the profoundness of her internal pain when she appeals to other mothers empathy to her sad feelings from not being able to tell his son to go to play on the playground. She even uses the word production as an analogy to describe the care and treatment that she must give to her son the assisting devices to make possible his visit to the playground. Furthermore, the intensity of her feelings is remarked by a tense body posture, noticeable changes on the inflections of her voice, whipping a tear rolling down her cheek while she talks, and repeatedly pointing to the camera every time that she strenuously repeats the phrase: every mother. Along with the life change in the family members of the victim, other persons involved in such dramatic car accidents, suffer drastically as well, with the changes in their lives.
The victims who survive the accidents arising from texting while driving experience feelings of loss and grief as they struggle to adjust to an impaired life. An obvious example of a resulting disabled life is presented by a car accident that occurred in Colchester, Vermont. In the crush, Debbie Drewniak who is a Colchester resident, and her dog were stricken down by a car driven by a young female. The young woman caused this accident while texting and oblivious to the fact that there are other road users and that use of mobile phones while driving causes reduced concentration on the road and pedestrians. In the documentary, Debbies brother recounts her personality before the accident. She was a fruitful and renowned professional with a planned life structure, who constantly traveled around the world, and enjoyed taking care of her sisters children. Likewise, both siblings provide specific details of her actual poor physical and mental capabilities following the accident that reduced her performance to simple daily routines like feeding wild birds and just standing staring at the water in the lake for hours. The scenes of a standing-still Debbie near the highway, with an impaired vision staring to the infinite, suggest a shot-down person. However, her sisters description of Debbies dog ignites Debbies desire to babble in a slow, slurry, almost unintelligible speech the precise detail of her lost dogs weight. With a face marked with expressions of sadness and sorrow, the audience can perceive her struggle to adapt to her changed life while making an effort to articulate: She narrates that, Charlie was my best friend; he was so loving and lovable. Adapting to change is a process that texting drivers go through as well.
The texting drivers, who cause a change in the lives of others, changed their lives as well in such a way that feelings of guilt and remorse hunt them like ghosts whenever they go for the rest of their lives. For instance, the documentary captures the life of young male driver called Chandler Gerber who was on his daily route to his job in Bluffton, Indiana when his car hit an Amish-family horse-wagon from behind. Chandler recalls that after the impact he jumped out of his truck surrounded by an immense silence and feelings of loneliness, while the scene in front of him was covered with pieces of the carriage, staggered bodies in the ditch, and at a distance, lying on the ground the body of an agonizing horse. Three of the bodies on the ground were children aged three, seven and seventeen, who were killed by his I love you message to wife. Along with the recurring memories of this scene, Gerber fails to pair his past self-image of a loving and father-to-be husband, with the person trapped in a nightmare from which he wants to wake up. Not being able to redraw his steps to a haunting past, amend his wrong decisions, and liberate himself from the nightmare, this young man lives with resignation in a new reality where he painfully deals with these assaulting and hunting feelings of remorse and guilt. With pain in his look and a long flicker, Chandler implores the audience, some of whom are drivers to refrain the temptation of texting and driving: Please, please dont ever do that. Its life, you get one chance, and you live with the choices youve made (Werner Herzog. From One Second to the Next, 2013)
The touching and sensitive illustration of the aftermath consequences of accidents caused by texting and driving in peoples live invite the audience to put on balance the importance of an LCD screen versus the broader mirror of life. A common consequence to all survivors of these accidents is a profound change of life along with an altered inner peace. Everyone should be touched by this documentary because it clearly shows that texting and driving are not worth a lifetime suffering and risking lives on the road.
AT&T public service announcement. Dir. Werner Herzog. 2013. From One Second to the Next. YouTube, 7 August 2013. Web. 18 May 2017.
Huang, Dayan, et al. "CAEP position statement on cellphone use while driving." CJEM 12.04 (2010): 365-370.
Kahn, Christopher A., et al. "Distracted Driving, A Major Preventable Cause of Motor Vehicle Collisions:Just Hang Up and Drive." Western Journal of Emergency Medicine 16.7 (2015): 1033.
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