Analyst Watch: Is that message worth a life?
April 17, 2013 —
(Page 1 of 3)
Related Search Term(s): safety
Back when the iPhone first launched, I called it (on “Today”) a horrid phone. My justification was that it was going to result in the death of a lot of our children. Having used screen and keyboard phones prior to the iPhone’s launch, I argued that it would increase the level of distraction for drivers and result in an increased number of deaths, particularly among young adult drivers, given that they typically have poor impulse control. This would be especially true, I argued, if other phone makers copied Apple, which I felt was likely.
But here’s the thing: I’ve been there myself. When the phone vibrates or shakes while you are driving, the tendency is to want to check what is going on and respond to it. If you do, you are (according to “Today” this morning) 43x more likely to have an accident. And even if you live, the chance of you being brain-damaged is rather high given the number of folks they had on the show that had been injured that way.
What if you killed your kid?
I’m thinking of the morning after a parent has been told that his or her child has died in an accident while texting, when the parent suddenly realizes that if he or she hadn’t bought the phone the kid wanted, the child would likely be alive. I can’t imagine the level of remorse and guilt that would go along with this, but it could easily be matched if the adult ran into another family killing a child while texting themselves.
You see, adults apparently have big problems with impulse control too. On that same “Today” show, they indicated that adults may actually mess with their phones while driving more than kids do.
Further, this could happen to you or someone you care about even if they aren’t doing the driving. As a passenger of someone who is texting while driving, as a driver in a car going the other way from someone who is texting while driving, or simply as a person walking in the wrong place at the wrong time, texting while driving puts you at risk.