In this haunting Belgian road safety PSA, a mother answers a phone call while at the wheel, and while we don't see the actual accident, its lifelong consequences gradually dawn on us.
Like AT&T's heartbreaking "It Can Wait" in 2015, the 90-second spot, funded by the organization OVK (Parents of Road Victims), makes horribly uncomfortable viewing. A mom straps her little boy in the back seat and sets off listening to Alphaville's "Forever Young" on the radio, glancing back at him in the rear view mirror with loving looks as well as appearing to drive carefully. However, when her phone rings, she takes her eyes off the road for a second.
The film then shows the same woman setting off in her car again, but weeping before she starts. However, the same little boy is still sitting in the back. But then we see her gradually becoming older until finally she is an elderly woman. It's a sickening glance into the future -- and the full impact of what happened finally hits us.
The theme of an older woman looking back on her distracted driving mistake has echoes of 2015's haunting Road Safety Ireland PSA directed by Martin Stirling, although that one played out the story in reverse.
Created by Happiness Brussels and directed by Caviar's Tom Willems, the spot stars actresses Lotte and Marijke Pinoy, who are well known in Belgium for their TV and movie work.