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Viral ad shows the horrific consequences of one mom's distracted driving

AT&T's latest "It Can Wait" video shows the dangerous effects of using a smartphone while driving and how it effects more than just drivers.
/ Source: TODAY

Don't text and drive! That's the message we've heard a million times. We've been told cops are ticketing those who don't drive hands-free. Yet nothing seems to really stop people from using their cellphones while driving.

AT&T's 'Close to Home' ad addresses distracted driving for the 'It Can Wait' campaign
AT&T Close to Home | It Can WaitYouTube

Well AT&T, one of the nation's top mobile carriers, is trying to change that behavior with its latest endeavor for their campaign, "It Can Wait." Along with advertising agency BBDO and Anonymous Content director Frederic Planchon, the company created a nearly four minute film, "Close to Home," that shows how using a phone while driving can impact the lives of not one, but six different people. Some are directly affected by the accident that occurs after a mother gets distracted by phone notifications while driving her young daughter, who's sitting in the back seat. "Everyone loves the picture I posted of you," says the mom, smiling as she looks down at her phone the moment before impact.

RELATED: Teen drivers most often distracted by a parent's phone call

Others are outsiders who witness the horrific effects of what seemed like such a small distraction. As the film concludes, the actions that lead up to the accident play in slow-motion in reverse, creating an eerie sense that so many things could have been done differently.

The film will be cut into 30-second spots to run as commercials on national television.

The "It Can Wait" campaign has traditionally focused on texting while driving. Several years ago, director Werner Herzog created a documentary for the campaign to showcase the lives of those affected by texting and driving accidents. However, as a result of new research, the campaign has expanded to include the effects of any smartphone action in order to show the true dangers facing drivers, according to an article in Adweek.

While 70 percent of people are said to use a smartphone while driving, 67 percent of these people text and 40 percent of them are using a form of social media, according to data released by AT&T in May. What's even more shocking is that 10 percent of people go as far as video chatting while driving.

Related: AT&T launches mobile safety site for families

AT&T is giving us all a very real, and yes scary, reality check. Hopefully, we will all start to think twice next time we get in car and debate picking up our phone.