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This Shocking Video Will Make You Think Twice Before Checking Your Phone While Driving

mom texting while driving
Before the next time you drive, you must watch the latest ad from AT&T's "It Can Wait" texting-and-driving campaign by BBDO New York. All of the campaign's ads have been powerful reminders of the horrible consequences of texting while driving, but this one goes even further, showing that paying any attention to your phone while driving can be enough of a distraction to cause a horrible accident.

New research has revealed that drivers do more than just use their phones to text while behind the wheel, and actually engage in social media, Web surfing, video chatting and more. Taking your eyes off the road for even a second for any one of these activites is dangerous, and the phone company's new ad is designed to highlight that in a particularly disturbing and shocking way. The full four-minute film on YouTube is supported by three 30-second spots, one of which will run on TV to spread the message.

AT&T has also developed a free app called the It Can Wait Driving Simulation that uses virtual reality to provide an immersive experience of what it is like to engage in a variety of smartphone activities while driving. The company is taking a headset version of the simulator on tour to schools, fairs and partner companies in 100 U.S. cities to spread the message that using a smartphone while driving can lead to a deadly accident.

I'm still pretty shook up after watching the new ad. Fatal accidents are not something we want to have thrown in our faces, but better to see a video of one than have it happen in real life. I'm definitely guilty of searching for directions on my phone while driving and still see quite a few drivers talking on their hand-held phones while behind the wheel, even though it's against the law where I live and despite all we know about its dangers. Let's all put our phones away while driving, where we won't even be tempted to look at them. It really can wait.

Related: 6 Dangerous Driving Mistakes Moms Make

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Ellen Sturm Niz is a New York City-based editor and writer. Check out Ellen's new Etsy shop and follow her on Twitter and Pinterest.