Highways are getting deadlier, with fatalities up 22%. Our smartphone addiction is a big reason why

Highways are getting deadlier, with fatalities up 22%. Our smartphone addiction is a big reason why

Highway fatalities are on the rise again — 46,000 in the U.S. in 2022, up 22%, according to numbers released last week. How many of those deaths involved distracted driving?

“It’s much bigger than the data show,” said Bruce Landsberg, vice chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board. Data collection methods are so riddled with problems, he said, that reliable estimates are difficult if not impossible.

But if those methods aren’t improved, and soon, Landsberg said, the carnage induced by unsafe use of cellphones and other forms or distracted driving will continue.


I think it would be child’s play for the chip manufacturers to design a chip that would not work while in motion. The Government(s) would have to force their hand though, and there does not appear to be any appetite for that.

So much like with guns, the death toll rises from selfish, immature people who can’t control the urge to use the interactive features of a smart phone while driving .

I used to love doing road bike ( pedal ) rides, now I almost exclusively stick to rail trails, or just ride dirt trails on a mtn bike. It is stunning how many drivers I see going down the road that have their head down, staring at the phone, while behind the wheel.


Joe, you might be on to something with that thought.

I knew this wild woman once. She drove her car while out of control drunk. Cops caught her weaving all over A1A one night. Got her a Miami lawyer who got her a reduced sentence of AA & no record if she had this chip device she would blow into before her car would start.

No jail time (except for overnight) but the AA eventually kicked her out for disrupting confessions by others. Her car was left many nights, overnight, in a parking lot we all knew.

She always hit our place late 2 AM to 4 AM. If she was there til the last call, we’d drive her car home for her, after taking away her keys and calling her a taxi. We had to put paper napkins over the breath tube to get the okay for the car to start for us. We absolutely refused to drive her home in her own car. We did not want to allow her to start thinking she could have one of us blow in the tube and then let her drive the car home.

Weird contraption and I’m sure it kept her from killing herself or innocent pedestrians or drivers.

She ended up trading the car for a scooter she crashed. The last time I heard, like that rap song, she travels “Uber All The Time” and she lives in South Beach doing music video shoots. Famous in one of the big nightclubs up that way. She’s a dancing DJ now, probably the most knowledgeable hip-hop DJ I ever met. Oh, and she kicked the booze, finally, in her late 30s.

That woman is a Carl Hiassen character who came to life. So many stories that civilians would never believe the stories are real.

I want to say that the chip breathalyzer installed cost her more than $2,000. There was one car repair in Key West installing these things and they made bank. I have no idea if these devices are still a “thing” for locals not wanting to lose their licenses after a DUI.

Back on topic: maybe an IOS-installed app that only allows the phone to work for maps and emergency calls while in a cradle, and the phone has no internet connection?

That’s not going to work. Apple and Google are already on the dashboards of cars tied into cellphones. Both $AAPL and $GOOGL sell ads on mobile which also show up on maps. But that’s a distraction. I have no idea where this will be nipped.

Yeah, this is going to be a mess to regulate.

Maybe an IOS which does not allow internet surfing when the phone is in this imaginary cradle?

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There was a [partial] solution coming, but an inept auto industry, followed by a corrupt FCC chose instead to have more cat videos on wireless devices. Ironic, isn’t it?


lol, I can only imagine the stories you can tell about living and working in Key West, one of the party capitals of the USA !

I’ve been in KW once, not long after graduating high school, on a road trip with friends,long ago. We were lucky we made it back to Michigan,lol, young and dumb. Beautiful area, but the heat is just not for me. Great area to visit for a week or two !

Yeah, just like with the onboard breathylizer, there are some low hanging fruit type steps that could be taken to help ease the problem. But our captured, bought and paid for regulatory system cronies would not do their masters like that. So more Americans will die, for no good reason.

To all of us: Be ultra-vigilant when recreating around American motorists !

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