Several years ago, I read about a boy who was texting while driving on a Missouri highway. He set off a highway pileup that took two lives (his own), injured dozens and left two school buses and a pickup truck in a crumpled heap. His text was about going to the county fair that night. I also have two boys, who love texting though they don’t drive, yet. I can’t imagine losing them.
The insignificance of the text juxtaposed with the painful results propelled me to want to find out more. Once I found and started talking to people whose lives had been forever altered by the distractions of cell phones while driving, I knew I had to share their stories.
I decided on delivering these stories through an exhibit, as I’ve watched this medium make an impact through another project I helped create, “what I thought I saw”. At a time when large cell phone companies are using the internet to raise attention about the dangers of using their products while driving, this exhibit takes an off-screen approach. I have found photo-essay exhibits offer a more reflective and visceral experience for viewers, who quietly step into the realities of these subjects and take away what they will—emotionally and intellectually—applying it to their own lives.