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Do Smart Phones make you stupid?

Posted on by Defensive Driving Team | in The Daily Drive

The Governors Highway Safety Association recently released its report, “Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State” with preliminary data.  While the report had some encouraging news, primarily related to the overall decrease in traffic related fatalities and a substantial decrease (42%) in child pedestrian fatalities over the past 10 years, several states are beginning to hear anecdotally, the rise of fatalities due to distracted pedestrians who were using smart phones, texting or had headphones in listening to their smart phones or Ipods.

I love these governmental reports for their statement of the obvious, “Pedestrians and drivers share responsibility for many pedestrian fatalities, as pedestrians and vehicles attempt to use the same space at the same time.”   Gee… my years at NASA tell me who wins that “attempt to use the same space”.

But on a more serious note, do our smart phones make us stupid?  We are using them when we should not, when common sense should tell us… it is not that important.  Yet we make a decision, whether to answer a text right now, send a response to that email, right now that we completely lose touch of our surroundings and our focus, on what should be focused on.

Distracted driving has a fatality rate equal to that of drinking and driving.   We are losing touch with what is important as we grow fascinated with our touch screens.   Now we cannot cross the street safely, because we are so into our “smart” phone.

DefensiveDriving.com covers a number of topics, distracted driving being one of them, but we also address walkablity in neighborhoods, essentially, how safe a neighborhood is to walk in based on certain environmental factors.   We need to add another factor which will decrease the walkability, the saturation of smart phones.

Ironically, the states with large populations and large urban centers – yes the opportunity factor, accounted for 41% of the nations pedestrian fatalities.   California was #1, Florida was #2, Texas was #3 and New York was #4… these states also have the highest percentage of smart phone users.

Be smart, hang up and walk.


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