Acclaimed documentary film maker Werner Herzog introduced last month a haunting documentary on the human impact of texting while driving. Herzog has partnered with AT&T to produce this public service announcement that aims to combat the behavior of an increasingly large number of drivers using their phones.
In 2010, the National Council of Safety estimated that 1.6 million car crashes were caused by drivers using their cell phones. The documentary is combined with AT&T’s “It Can Wait” campaign that encourages drivers to “Take the Pledge” to not text while driving:
No Text Message, email, website or video is worth the risk of endangering someone’s life or the lives of others on the road. Please pledge to never text and drive and will take action to educate others about the dangers of texting while driving. NO TEXT IS WORTH THE RISK. IT CAN WAIT. Please visit ItCanWait.com to pledge.
The debate has already begun on expanding the scope of civil liability of the driver to the person sending the text to the driver. A New Jersey appellate court ruled last month in Kubert v. Best, 2013 WL 4512313 (NJ App. Aug. 27) that liability may be expanded beyond the driver. The court examined the time-stamps between the driver and defendant and ultimately ruled that plaintiff’s had not presented evidence that she knew or had reason to know that the driver would review the text while driving. Although the court sided with the defendant, the inquiry marks a threshold point to expand the scope of civil liability.