Award winning documentary film director Werner Herzog has produced a 30 minute public service film on the devastating effects of texting and driving. According to PlanetSave (Texting While Driving Kills: Werner Herzog Film), a recent survey shows that drivers who text while driving are 23 more times likely to be involved in an accident, which makes it more dangerous than drinking and driving.
The documentary will focus primarily on teen driving and texting; 1/2 of teen drivers surveyed admit to texting and driving simultaneously
Texting and Risky Behavior
In addition to texting and driving, studies have shown a correlation between texting and other risky behaviors. In 2010, Dr. Scott Frank, associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine conducted a study focusing on teens who engage in hypertexting, which he defined as texting 120 times a day or more.
The study specifics are as follows: 4200 teens from 20 public schools in Ohio were surveyed about their texting and social networking habits. Dr. Frank determined that 1 in 5 of the students were hyper-texters, while 1 in 9 he characterized as hyper-networkers — teens who text but also spend more than 3 hours a day on social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.
Dr. Frank and his team discovered that hyper-texters were three-and-a-half times more likely to have sex than those who texted less often. Hyper-texters were also more likely to binge drink, take prescription drugs without a proper prescription, and engage in illegal drug use.
Interestingly, hyper-networkers weren’t as likely to have sex as hyper-texters, but they were more likely to engage in the other above mentioned risky behaviors.
In 2009, The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned pregnancy initiated a study on sexting among American teens; the results were startling. 20% of the teenagers surveyed admitted to sending nude or semi-nude pictures of themselves (18% of the boys and 22% of the girls, respectively).
What compounds the problem of texting and driving and other risky behaviors is that teenagers lack impulse control. According to the National Institute for Mental Health, the frontal lobe of the brain or the cortex that controls impulsive behavior is not fully developed until the age of 23.
That’s what makes awareness so important; thankfully for the rest of us, Werner Herzog knows this.