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Texting while driving: The life-altering impact of an everyday decision

It's distracted driving awareness month, and one of the biggest culprits - texting while driving - deserves ongoing focus. More than 25 percent of traffic accidents involve cellphones, according to Zendrive. Using your phone behind the wheel makes you at least four times more likely to cause a crash.

Still, it remains difficult for many drivers to grasp the impact of their seemingly innocent decision to pull out their phone and skim a text message, tap out a quick reply or check notifications. The temptation to do so rivals that of an addiction. Yet that single thoughtless decision can change your life - and the lives of those around you - forever.

Making it real: Werner Herzog's "From One Second To The Next"

Numerous safety campaigns aim to increase awareness about the dangers of texting while driving (and other forms of distraction). One drives home that message in particularly poignant fashion.

The half-hour documentary "From One Second To The Next," directed by acclaimed filmmaker Werner Herzog, vividly illustrates the consequences of a split-second of inattention behind the wheel.

The film follows the stories of innocent people whose lives were shattered when drivers chose to pick up their phones rather than pay attention to the road. Some survived with profound disabilities. Others were killed, leaving behind devastated parents, children and siblings who will forever grapple with the senseless acts that snuffed out their loved ones' lives in the blink of an eye.

Equally heart-wrenching are the stories of the drivers who caused the accidents. In emotional interviews, they lament the choice that transformed them from everyday people into killers. Their message, perhaps, is the most compelling: "Don't make the same mistake I did."

The film, available for free online, is required viewing for many drivers' education courses. Experienced drivers can also benefit from this somber reminder about the vast responsibility we yield each time we get behind the wheel.

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