Groundbreaking documentary focuses on distracted driving

Documentary filmmakers tracked eight drivers for six months to investigate how and why people get distracted behind the wheel.
5:13 | 04/01/19

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Transcript for Groundbreaking documentary focuses on distracted driving
We're back now with an eye-opening new warning about distracted driving. As we kick off distracted driving awareness month. The national safety soul says nine Americans die in distracted driving accidents a day. Now a look at what keeps your eyes off the road. Reporter: Some are calling this the new drunk driving. Take your eyes off the road for just a few seconds. As you're about to see, a few seconds could be all it takes. The people we're about to show you knew they were being filmed. Take a look. These eight drivers are part of an experiment documentary filmmakers tracking each of them for six months. Investigating how and why we get distracted behind the wheel. Teams of researchers at the university of Connecticut and M.I.T. Analyzing hundreds of hours of video. Catching drivers texting. Dancing. Eating when they should be focusing on the road. And remember, they know cameras are rolling. Look at this woman, balancing a full plate of food while in the driver's seat. Taking her hands completely off the wheel at certain points. Reporter: The film capturing drivers with hands off the wheel. Eyes off the road. For three seconds at a time. At certain speeds, equated with driving the length of the football field. It's all for a documentary, "3 seconds behind the wheel." We're the multitasking generation. If anything, driving is becoming the second dare task. Reporter: 20-year-old Nathan, assured producers, he doesn't text and drive. Look at this. He was checking social media and thumbing through music. Look at your eyes. You're glancing back and forth like that. But, in reality, you're not actually looking at what's happening around you. When we looked for brief periods of time. Just one second. It's not long enough for our brains to take that information and make meaning of it. To be able to use it as rapidly as we would need to. If something unexpected happens. I'm scared myself just watching myself drive around other drivers. I'm putting them this danger. So -- cause I am looking down for three seconds and looking back up. When I look up, I'm just looking straight. Not looking at anything around me. That's very dangerous. Reporter: The documentary concluding one of the main reasons we tend to get distract snd boredom. That compulsion to constantly check our phones. I have two phones. I'm going to put them right here and see if I can ignore them. Immediately, those messages start flooding in. Oh, and I already looked. Oh, there's another one. Another alert. And I -- I couldn't avoid it. It was just instinct. Some of those tegss arapged by my producer. I don't know that. It's torture. There's another alert. I didn't look this time. But sit taking everything to not look. I want to look. That's hops. And, I always drive around with my phone on silent. This time, I did wit the sounds and it was just stressful hearing those sounds come dm. And you saw, it took nothing for many to just look. And, right away, I just -- I couldn't avoid it. You saw the one kid. He said he was scared watching himself. He was scared of watching himself drive. There is technology you trys to use that can help you from looking at your phone. It's called do not disturb while diving. It's an iPhone feature. It responds to text messages for you. And it says, there's a text message this. I'm driving with this feature turned on. I won't see your message until I get where I'm going. I have gotten that. This is how you turn it on. Get your iPhones out. You go into settings. And then you go into the control Wait, wait. Slow down. Settings. Then. Settings. Control center. Control center. Customize controls. Right. And then there, you're going look for the little car icon. It says, do not disturb while add that in there. Now, all of a sudden, it's in your control center. Turn that feature on and off. The do not disturb while driving. Yeah. Turn it on. It turns off notifications and replies to the texts. Perfect. What if there is somebody who wants that but wants to stay connected in case of an emergency. It sends you another text. It says, reply with the word urgent. That text message will get through to the driver. You can set up different settings. You can have certain people calling you and those calls will go through. Taking that little time can save you possibly your life or someone else's. You knew you were being tested and it was still hard? I knew it. George, I thought I wasn't going to look at the phone pip thought I could do it. The very first time I heard that sound, right away, my eye went down. The other drivers knew, too. I wasn't juggling plates of food. Something to be said for that. Thank you, as always, gio. I saw you flip your pen. That was the play of the day.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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