Janson Media today announced the release of 3 Seconds Behind the Wheel, a new one-hour documentary that puts viewers In "the driver’s seat" for a timely inside look at distracted driving. The film captures driving habits of real drivers and provides insights on new technology and efforts to improve road safety.
3 Seconds Behind the Wheel follows the lives of eight drivers over six months using in-car cameras and tracking technology to monitor the often-hidden behavior of distracted drivers. Why three seconds? That’s how long it takes to drive across a football field, send a message or choose a song. That’s also the amount of time many drivers are engaged in activities that can impact their capacity to drive their vehicles safely. To coincide with "Distracted Driving Awareness Month," 3 Seconds Behind the Wheel also launches today on Amazon Prime Video — where it will stream free for subscribers and is also available to rent or buy. Simultaneously, the program is airing on public television stations across the country (check local listings).
Produced by Connecticut Public Television (CPTV) in partnership with Boyd Productions, 3 Seconds Behind the Wheel explores driving patterns that are impacting road safety today. Producers gathered, observed and examined weekly data from subjects in Florida and Connecticut to get a fresh picture of the many activities drawing drivers’ attention off the task of driving. Study participants ranged in age from 18 to 65 years old. In addition, experts from MIT, Cambridge Mobile Telematics, Safety Track and the University of Connecticut all helped with the project by providing monitoring equipment, data storage, expert analysis and plain, old-fashioned advice.
“One of the amazing things about the study is to be able to take that camera that they quickly forget about, and be in a private space that is typically reserved for just the driver,” said Eric Jackson, Director, Connecticut Transportation Safety Research Center at the University of Connecticut. “You get to observe a lot of these things that are going on, that we all do. But you don’t think about it until you start watching the videos and realize… I do that.”
“We don’t have a distraction epidemic; we really have an attention epidemic,” noted Bryan Reimer, Research Scientist, MIT. “We really need to begin asking the question: What is the distraction? Could it be that the act of driving has become the distraction from the communication and infotainment world that we all live in?”
“It is very interesting to see that there are people doing a lot of things in their cars besides driving,” added Jackson. “It’s almost as if driving has become too boring of a task. We can’t just drive anymore.” In addition to following drivers, 3 Seconds Behind the Wheel gives audiences a firsthand look at emerging technologies that could one day offer solutions to rising crash statistics. The documentary features research being done at Google with driving simulators to help develop next-generation in-car infotainment systems, and explores how one company, based in Sweden, is developing technology that could one day allow cars to understand our feelings and make driving decisions based on our own individual needs.
“While many of these drivers’ habits will shock you, this is a very honest and intimate look at human nature,” said Jennifer Boyd, producer, director and writer of 3 Seconds Behind the Wheel. “And it provides a little insight into some truths about all of us.” Filmmakers have also produced a nine-episode podcast as an additional resource to accompany the documentary. The podcast, entitled Behind 3 Seconds Behind the Wheel, provides a behind-the-scenes look at the adventures of creating the documentary. The podcast offers bonus segments, key stats and interviews with people featured in the film to give a unique look at the storytelling process. Researchers and experts also highlight many of the important issues discussed in the documentary, including distraction and new technology. For more information, visit www.3seconds.org.
3 Seconds Behind the Wheel is a co-production of Boyd Productions, LLC and Connecticut Public Television. The executive producer, director and writer is Jennifer Boyd. The co-producer is Catherine Sager. The editor is Cecilia Préstamo. The director of photography is Paul Smith. National funding for 3 Seconds Behind the Wheel is made possible by Presenting Sponsor Travelers with additional support from General Motors. National distribution to public television stations is made possible by American Public Television (APT). National digital distribution is made possible by Janson Media.
About the Producer
Jennifer Boyd has produced and directed more than 25 documentaries and 40 concerts for public television, including the EMMY Award-winning Teens: Behind the Wheel. Results from that eye-opening documentary were featured on Good Morning America, Dateline, ABC World News Tonight and MSNBC, as well as numerous local news outlets. Her company, Boyd Productions, creates documentary, entertainment and corporate media content worldwide. Much of the company’s recent work with NASA, Lawrence Berkeley Labs, Caltech and others has focused on how big data is changing the world.
Connecticut Public Television (CPTV) is a media service of the Connecticut Public Broadcasting, Inc. CPTV is a locally and nationally recognized producer and presenter of quality public television programming, including original documentaries, public affairs and educational programming. CPTV also includes an affiliate channel: CPTV Spirit, created for the “doers,” “makers” and “adventurers” who crave more action, edgier journalism and documentaries, and more active ways to feed their curiosity. For more information, visit CPTV.org.
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