“Was the text that important?” It’s a question one mother, whose son was paralyzed by a texting driver, asks in the documentary “One Second to the Next.”

Most of us have picked up a phone at the same time as trying to drive a car. No big deal, it’s just one text…I just have to check this one message…if I don’t send it now, I’ll miss that deadline…it’ll just take one second.

But it potentially can be a big deal, one of the biggest deals ever–one second could mean the difference between life or death.

A free presentation this Thursday, Sept. 19 at 7:00-9:00 p.m. at Trackside Teen Center will help drive that point home. Sponsored by AT&T, the event will present a screening of “One Second to the Next,” a documentary directed by Hollywood director/actor Warner Herzog on the aftermath of texting and driving. [Note: Watch the trailer for the documentary, below.]

Following the film, there will be a panel discussion featuring Alison Jacobson, a national family safety expert, blogger and spokesperson, and Wilton mom; Kiersten Aichinger, a victim of a distracted driving crash; and Officer Rich Ross, Wilton’s school resource officer from the Wilton Police Department.

It’s crucial for everyone to get the message, because it’s not just teens who are texting and driving, Jacobson said. Parents do it too.

“That’s the most important thing. I’ve gotten a lot of RSVP’s saying, ‘Yes my teen is coming to the event.’ Our response is, ‘You need to come too.’ The reality is all of us are driving distracted, whether we admit it or not. It’s that dirty little secret, ‘Oh, I only do it once in a while.’ But even that once can kill you or somebody else.”

According to AT&T, more than 100,000 crashes per year involve a driver who was texting. Jacobson believes she understands why people still drive distractedly, even if they understand the risk.

“One is the logical reason, that our days are so crazy. We’re trying to hyper-manage everything in our lives. The other reason, there’s actually a chemical high that we get when we hear that ‘Bing!’ and we see a text come in, because it makes us feel wanted and liked. It’s a hard habit to break.”

The Trackside event coincides with the national effort by AT&T to get as many people as possible to pledge not to text and drive. People will be able to sign a pledge poster at the event and take the pledge with AT&T that day on the “It Can Wait” website.

“This is a nationwide effort. There’s a press conference in Hartford at the same time. There’s going to be a huge event in D.C.  Tim McGraw has done a PSA. Demi Lovato did one.”

At the event, attendees can try out the “It Can Wait” simulator to experience first-hand the risks of texting and driving. They’ll be able to feel what it’s like to have to answer texts and try to drive safely at the same time. Given that a study from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that drivers who text and drive are 23 times more likely to be in a crash, it seems like a worthwhile event to attend.

Admission is free, and complimentary pizza and soft drinks will be served. To attend, RSVP to info@safetymom.com