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Dying to Take a Selfie: How Cell Phone Use is Killing Us

— March 20, 2019

The ubiquitous cell phone is here to stay. Unlike some technologies however, usage habits are not improving the longer these modern marvels are around. In fact, they’re actually getting worse.

Cell phones. They’re as common as eyeglasses these days. From senior citizens to grade school children, it seems as though everyone has one. We’ve heard various stories over the years of “dangerous radiation” exposure from cell phone use (depends on who you ask as to the veracity of this one); we’ve seen exploding cell phone batteries causing serious injuries and property loss, too. And of course, we’re all aware of the numerous “don’t text and drive” campaigns. So, after years of promoting safer cell phone use (or non-use) behind the wheel, we must be making progress, right? Think again.

It might not seem all that obvious, but we are living in a nation where owning a cell phone has become deadly and not owning some type of coverage for your life should be considered irresponsible. This is because we communicate in a completely different way than we used to and are allowing things like push news alerts, text messages, and social media to put us in distracting situations that are ultimately causing our deaths or the deaths of others.  The sad thing is that it doesn’t seem to be slowing down, and the team at wondered what was the underlying cause of these deaths and how has owning a cell phone become so dangerous?

Based on historic data they found from the United States Department Of Transportation, they structured their own 2019 survey to benchmark deaths related to cell phone use and driving habits. The survey was run on 1,430 drivers from the U.S. from 2/1/2019 to 2/26/2019.

Some report highlights:

  • 52% of Americans don’t “look both ways” anymore before crossing the street
  • Drivers use their phones for up to 3.5 minutes per hour when driving
  • 1 out of every 4 car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving (1.6 million crashes each year)
  • Five states – CA, FL, TX, NY And AZ – accounted For 43% of pedestrian deaths

Click on the image to view the survey.

Survey Results: Why Are Cell Phones Killing Us? Image courtesy of
Survey Results: Why Are Cell Phones Killing Us? Image courtesy of

These are grim statistics and show that instead of improving, our behavior regarding cell phones and driving has only worsened. We are, literally, dying to take selfies. In fact, over 15% of those surveyed admit to taking selfies while driving, and 5% admitted to “Going Live” via video while driving. What will it take to finally fix this unsafe behavior? As of today, no one seems to have any concrete answers.

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