Prediction: Smartphones Will Be Our Unnatural Predators

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Prediction: Smartphones Will Be Our Unnatural Predators

Status: Occurring

In New York, we’re surrounded by people who listen to music, operate iPhones, read Kindles, or craft winkey faces to their mistresses – as they CROSS THE STREET!

This addiction to portable toys is so powerful, it’s turned pedestrians into wild hogs and taxis into hillbillies with grills.

“Unwittingly, the distracted masses have outsourced their safety to another, even scarier urban predator, the NYC cab driver. Unlike the jaguar, he races through the urban jungle while texting, eating pungent chicken, and plotting his vacation to Pakistan over Bluetooth.”

legislation will have a hard time competing with The Jersey Shore on your iPhone.


What Happened

Cell Phones Cause 70,000 Crashes a Year on U.S. Roads, Apr 2017

Infographic: Cell Phones Cause 70,000 Crashes a Year on U.S. Roads | Statista

Nearly 6,000 pedestrians killed in 2017 crashes, new report says, Feb 2018

U.S. pedestrian deaths totaled nearly 6,000 in 2017 for the second straight year amid mounting signs that walkers and drivers are dangerously distracted, according to a new study.

Although reasons for the recent rise have not been scientifically determined, experts suspect that smartphones and marijuana use are key factors in the deadly trend.

Bottom line: Texting while walking is especially risky in urban environments.

Combine that with drivers who are using their phones or touchscreens while driving, and it’s a recipe for fatalities.

“We’ve got distracted drivers and we’ve got distracted pedestrians, and that is a deadly combination,” said Rebecca Lindland, a Kelley Blue Book auto analyst. “At some point in time, people both behind the wheel and walking in the street have to take responsibility for their behavior and put down the phone.”

One option: new ordinances to outlaw smartphone use while strolling. The city of Montclair, Calif., recently banned walking across the street while using a phone or headphones. Honolulu has a similar law.

Study warns of risks from ‘distracted walking’, Dec 2015

Reading This While Walking? In Honolulu, It Could Cost You, Oct 2017

A small town in California is fining people $100 for looking at their phone while crossing the street – Houston Chronicle, Mar 2018

Hooked on Our Smartphones, Jan 2017

Prescriptions & What Happened

Transparent displays on glasses that show info from your phone.  Yes, you’ll still be distracted, but surely no car would ever hit someone that fashionable.

Foreshadowed Google Glass (released 2013)

Force buyers of portable gadgets to buy liability insurance, which will go up in case of an accident.  Nothing like a good old fashioned economic incentive.

Mobile data-driven car insurance startup Root Insurance raises $100M Series D led by Tiger Global Management, at a $1B valuation Aug 2018 


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