LOLs that kill: the life and death of texting-while-driving crash victims portrayed in new video
A young woman named Mandi sends a brief text message to her sister Ashley, who is driving her truck. Ashley receives the message — “yeah” — then clips the median on the left side and loses control of the vehicle. Her truck flips and she is ejected from the driver’s seat. She dies in the ditch where her body lands and now Mandi lives with the guilt of believing she killed her sibling with those four “little letters.”
“Just having a highway patrol officer write in a report that a text message sent at 12:05 is the reason that she is dead is not something that will ever go away,” the grieving sister says in a new video produced by AT&T about the dangers of texting and driving.
“The Last Text,” which runs for nearly 11 minutes and is available on Youtube, is the latest video to emerge in an international campaign to educate drivers about the serious risks of texting while driving. The video features the personal accounts of four other people whose lives have been altered in accidents caused by texting, including a police officer who is clearly haunted by the horrors he has seen while responding to distracted driving accidents.
The video also shows how one young man is coping with the guilt of knowing he killed a bicyclist because his attention was on texting “LOL.” Another is left mentally and physically impaired after colliding with a tree while texting behind the wheel. A mother grieves for her daughter who was killed the day before her high school graduation while looking at texted directions from a friend.
The video shows the different faces of destruction that texting and driving accidents too often leave in their wake.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 6,000 people die and 500,000 are injured in distracted driving crashes each year. Distracted driving accounts for 25 to 30 percent of all traffic accidents, and researchers have found that driving texters are 23 times more likely to have an accident than non-texters.