We all remember the days. It wasn’t all that long ago when we’d step into a restaurant and be asked a simple question… “Smoking or nonsmoking, sir?”
It didn’t matter all that much – smoke doesn’t tend to naturally stop where it’s supposed to – but nobody seemed to care.
Fortunately, today’s kids will never hear the question. But as little as a decade ago, smoking was accepted just about everywhere.
Things have changed fast.
Now we scratch our head and wonder just how long it will be before cellphones are looked at with the same nostalgic idea.
“My, how dumb we were,” we may soon think.
No Cellphones, Please
We’ve often griped of the dangers of cellphones… from their potential health effects to their destruction of social skills (and social norms) and, now, to something that’s proving increasingly deadly.
We’ve all seen it. It’s the new drunk driving.
Texting and driving is fatal.
Get this. The number of deaths on America’s roads was in a steady decline over the last few decades. Thanks to safety improvements and serious crackdowns on drunk driving, the risk associated with getting in a car fell to record lows.
But that’s recently changed.
Over the last two years, traffic deaths have flat-out surged – up by over 14%.
It’s not that cars are suddenly less safe. And it’s not like we’ve all forgotten how to drive.
Nope… there’s something more sinister at play.
In fact, it makes us wonder if we’ll soon be asked a new question… “Texting or nontexting lane, sir?”
After all, as traffic deaths surged, the number of Americans who own a smartphone rose to a whopping 81%.
And folks don’t put those phones down when they drive – just the opposite.
A study by a small startup called Zendrive recently studied 3 million people. It found – this is incredible – that those folks used their cellphones during 88% of trips.
It’s no wonder we’re seeing a disproportionate rise in the number of bicyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists killed each year. Drivers are too busy looking for the perfect emoticon to notice the small obstacles in their way.
The more we think about it, the more a “no cellphones” lane on the highway makes sense.
As we’d expect, the feds haven’t quite caught up to the trend yet. If you ask the nation’s highway officials, they’ll tell you their numbers don’t show a correlation between phones and traffic deaths.
It’s not because cellphones aren’t wreaking havoc… it’s because the reporting is flawed.
One nonprofit group that studied the reports found the number of phone-related accidents that were coded properly was just half of the true number. Others say the figures are even further apart. After all, as Bloomberg reports, “Only 11 states use reporting forms that contain a field for police to tick-off mobile-phone distraction.”
“It’s definitely frightening,” said Jonathan Matus, CEO of Zendrive. “Pretty much everybody is using their phone while driving.”
If everybody’s doing it… it’s only a matter of time until we’re all affected.
The problem with cellphones and driving is there’s no way for a police officer to test a person after the fact. In other words, there’s no breathalyzer he can use to pin guilt on the faulty driver.
That’s why it’s up to you.
There are a few things you can do.
Staying Safe From the Dangers of Cellphones
First, pay attention. If you see a driver who’s using a phone, get away quickly. They’re easy to spot. They’re usually driving slower than the flow of traffic or swerving… just like a drunk.
Honk at them to let them know they’re wrong and you busted them.
If you do get in an accident, it’s quite helpful if you’re able to articulate that you saw the driver on the phone. It will help get a court order that will allow prosecutors to get their hands on phone records.
If you’re in an accident and the other driver was on the phone, be sure to immediately tell responding police officers and your lawyer if you go that route.
Even better, though, is video evidence. That’s why we have a dashcam. It records everything in front of us and even some of the periphery.
If somebody is on the phone, there’s a good chance it will capture and save the image.
Every car should have one. They cost as little as $40.
The technology behind our phones is great. No doubt it’s changed our culture and our lives. But we wonder just how far things will go.
Our phones are doing a lot more harm than most folks realize (as I detail in this presentation). But we’re convinced someday folks will wake up.
Someday we’ll look back and wonder how we were ever so dumb.
We just hope we survive long enough to see that day.
P.S. We recently uncovered the most damning evidence against cellphones yet. In fact, this could turn out to be the biggest scandal of our times. All the details and the simple steps you can take right now to protect yourself are included in our research presentation. Click here to check it out.