Cellphone addiction and FOMO are a serious and growing problem for Americans disrupting everyday life. Just this weekend, I witnessed a man in my building bring his phone to get his laundry out of the dryer (appx. 4 mins.); prior to a concert, another man with friends went to “go peepee” and took his phone off the table with him (appx. 5 mins). How obsessed with missing out can someone be, especially when focused on other tasks “in hand?”
Nowhere is this obsession more serious or dangerous than when driving. Only sixteen states have banned hand-held cellphone using while driving, and if you are caught you would have to go to somewhere like california dmv traffic school to be reminded of the rules of the road and why they exist for your safety and the safety of others. Continual charges could result in you losing your license altogether. However, it’s only one of many causes of distracted while driving. While phone use is one, it can include even things you might initially discount like buildings and architecture that is distracting either in its opulence and grandeur or has a feature that emits or reflects light; see buildings that distract drivers. Every year, driving with distractions kills thousands and injures hundreds of thousands more. It’s important to note that it’s not just people driving in cars that can cause accidents. Previously, commercial truck drivers have also been known to get distracted whilst driving, causing injuries to people and damage to business vehicles. However, many companies are now looking to prevent this sort of thing from happening by looking at different ways they can stop distracted driving amongst their fleet of drivers. Some companies have already looked at getting some software for their vehicles, from companies like Lytx, that monitor risky behaviours and allow managers to see what’s going on inside and outside the vehicles. This should help more delivery drivers stay safe.
A new documentary, 3 Seconds Behind the Wheel is a shocking look at the behavior and human nature behind what is thought to be a quick and easy activity but can have tragic and deadly consequences.
3 Second Behind the Wheel is currently playing on PBS stations and streaming on Hulu.
For more information about the film and podcasts, visit 3seconds.org HERE
For iPhone users, there is a “Do Not Disturb while Driving” feature which will auto reply to messages for you while you’re behind the wheel. From the Apple website:
You can let Do Not Disturb While Driving turn on automatically, or add it to Control Center for quick access:
- Go to Settings > Control Center, then tap Customize Controls.
- Tap next to Do Not Disturb While Driving.
On an iPhone X or later, you can swipe down from the top-right corner of your screen and tap to turn the feature on or off. Or on an iPhone 8 or earlier, you can swipe up from the bottom of your screen and tap to turn the feature on or off.
While this feature will certainly cut down on cell phone distractions, it’s certainly not a replacement for common sense.
(Main photo: courtesy of 3seconds.org website)