Apps To Blame For Biggest Spike in Traffic Deaths in 50 Years

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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, after four straight decades of decline, there was a huge spike in traffic deaths last year. The cause? The NHTSA is attributing the spike in fatalities to mobile apps.

After steady declines over the last four decades, highway fatalities last year recorded the largest annual percentage increase in 50 years. And the numbers so far this year are even worse. In the first six months of 2016, highway deaths jumped 10.4 percent, to 17,775, from the comparable period of 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “This is a crisis that needs to be addressed now,” Mark R. Rosekind, the head of the agency, said in an interview.
 

Jagger100

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Apps, not phones? Why not blame millennials? Their numbers on the road coincides with the rise of the smartphone.
 

Gigus Fire

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Sounds like what we call a "self-correcting problem"
Only if they kill themselves.

But Apps? Is this a new media buzzword for anything on the phone or did the NHTSA specifically call out apps?

Why not center it around what it really boils down to, distracted driving?
 
D

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This isn't a crisis, or a problem, it's The Darwin Awards and I'm all for it.

"Too stupid to live? Not really deserving of the chance you were given to breathe air and live? Ready to prove you're worthy of a Darwin Award? There's an app for that..." ;)
 

arnemetis

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I'd say it's more about irresponsible phone use in general, not apps specifically. The number of people I see holding a phone up to their ear on a call or texting while driving is huge, and the article doesn't cite any actual evidence that it's apps specifically. The cognitive workload on your brain, yup. How about personal responsibility for choosing to take these actions? Always have to blame someone or something else.

Here's a quote from the first paragraph "Even the game Pokémon Go has drivers searching for virtual creatures on the nation’s highways." That right there should set the tone for you if you read the rest of the article.
 

Bandalo

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Only if they kill themselves.

But Apps? Is this a new media buzzword for anything on the phone or did the NHTSA specifically call out apps?

Why not center it around what it really boils down to, distracted driving?

Well, the study specifically called out SnapChat, Waze and Pokemon Go. It's all "distracted driving", but they seem to have enough data to say it's not talking on the phone, or texting, but specifically people using a few named apps.
 

NeoNemesis

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This isn't a crisis, or a problem, it's The Darwin Awards and I'm all for it.

"Too stupid to live? Not really deserving of the chance you were given to breathe air and live? Ready to prove you're worthy of a Darwin Award? There's an app for that..." ;)

Unless of course they're the one driving the car and they end up plowing into a vehicle/cyclist/pedestrian.
 

TechLarry

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You know, a Cell Phone can tell when it's moving. Just have them stop them from being manipulated above 5mph. My Nav system does that.
 
D

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Unless of course they're the one driving the car and they end up plowing into a vehicle/cyclist/pedestrian.

The problem - and the great irony of life - is that when such things happen more often than not the driver ends up walking away (sometimes literally) while those outside the vehicle end up suffering the most, sadly. I've known a few people in my life that had their own lives almost casually snuffed out by some complete waste of humanity either drunk or in some other manner debilitated for whatever reason and then that person has nary a scratch on 'em.

Really fucked up but that's life sometimes.

A true Darwin Award winner is the only recipient and doesn't share it with anyone else in the act that gets them the award. ;)
 

NeoNemesis

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You know, a Cell Phone can tell when it's moving. Just have them stop them from being manipulated above 5mph. My Nav system does that.

You wouldn't be able to use your phone on the bus/train/airplane or as a passenger in a car.
 

Gweenz

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Distracted driving has long been the largest single contributor to auto accidents. This has been known forever, studies have been done to death (pun not intended). That must be accepted as fact. The NHTSA came out earlier this year and said that traffic fatalities were up this year and last and the highest they have been in many many years, but weren't sure what was causing them. Uh. Well, what has changed in the last few years that could possibly be the cause for this? Isn't it obvious? Does it really take months to determine what the cause is?

Ok, now that we've determined the cause (which we determined many years ago with studies on distracted driving) it's time to start enforcing the laws already on the books. We have laws against distracted driving. We have laws against texting and driving. Most states have hands free laws. START ENFORCING THEM.
 

Tsumi

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It is people. People cause accidents, not apps. Just like people kill people, not guns.

This isn't a crisis, or a problem, it's The Darwin Awards and I'm all for it.

"Too stupid to live? Not really deserving of the chance you were given to breathe air and live? Ready to prove you're worthy of a Darwin Award? There's an app for that..." ;)

The problem is those people are endangering my safety as well, and other responsible people's safety.
 

Nytegard

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nutzo

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Ok, now that we've determined the cause (which we determined many years ago with studies on distracted driving) it's time to start enforcing the laws already on the books. We have laws against distracted driving. We have laws against texting and driving. Most states have hands free laws. START ENFORCING THEM.

The problem is the way they enforce the law.
Pick up your phone to see who texted you while waiting at a read light, and you can get a ticket, even though there is no danger since you are not moving.
The law should be enforced only if you are driving (or blocking traffic if you didn't see the light change)

This is why self driving cars would eliminate a lot of accidents.
Most the distracted drivers would probably prefer to just press a button and have their car drive itself, while they play on their phones.
 

NeoNemesis

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So? We managed up until the past decade without such.

We made do without running water and electricity too, doesn't mean I'm eager to revisit the middle ages though.

Hell, if you get right down to it, the car has only been around for a little over a century, why not get rid of that too?
 

Gweenz

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The problem is the way they enforce the law.
Pick up your phone to see who texted you while waiting at a read light, and you can get a ticket, even though there is no danger since you are not moving.
The law should be enforced only if you are driving (or blocking traffic if you didn't see the light change)

Agreed that it can be difficult to enforce at times, because people are clever enough to hold their phones below window level, then it becomes a he-said she-said between the officer and motorist. However, drive down the street and look closely at the people to your left and right. It won't take more than 2 minutes to see someone with their phone up next to their face. Those are the ones you hit with huge fines. That won't stop everyone of course but it will put a big dent in it. To really rid the world of smartphone usage while driving you need to change the culture around it and convince people that it is a deplorable act, which it is.
 

rezerekted

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I use Periscope and see people scoping while driving all the time. I even told one guy to keep his eyes on the road instead of the screen and he told me to f-off.
 

evilsofa

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Well, the study specifically called out SnapChat, Waze and Pokemon Go. It's all "distracted driving", but they seem to have enough data to say it's not talking on the phone, or texting, but specifically people using a few named apps.

I see that the article called out Pokemon Go, but it wouldn't haven't had an effect on the study. From the article: "In the first six months of 2016, highway deaths jumped 10.4 percent, to 17,775, from the comparable period of 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration." Pokemon Go was released in July 2016, the 7th month of the year.
 

Gigus Fire

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You know, a Cell Phone can tell when it's moving. Just have them stop them from being manipulated above 5mph. My Nav system does that.
It would never work. I would disable it personally on my phone.
Your nav system does that because it's tied to your car. No one will buy a phone with that "feature".
 

Dead Parrot

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2015 was the first year the US required backup cameras in all cars to cut down on the number of folks running over kids behind cars. Most car makers probably added all sorts of crap to those screens and called them features. Most are probably so poorly designed that the drivers get frustrated and forget to drive the car. From the article, 2015 had the largest increase in deaths in 50 years. So far, 2016 is worse.

Will be ironic the the number of lives lost due to folks trying to use the other features on these 'safety devices' is greater then the number saved from being backed up over.
 

Bandalo

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I see that the article called out Pokemon Go, but it wouldn't haven't had an effect on the study. From the article: "In the first six months of 2016, highway deaths jumped 10.4 percent, to 17,775, from the comparable period of 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration." Pokemon Go was released in July 2016, the 7th month of the year.

Yeah, I tried to find the source report from the NHTSA, but my GoogleFu has failed me today.
 

NeoNemesis

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Oh forget that then, those lives aren't that important!

So you're suggesting that we ban any activity that can cause death/injury based on the contention that people's lives are more valuable than that activity?

Really didn't think this through did you?
 

Geno750

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Really, no personal accountability? Apps aren't to blame, stupid fucking drivers on their phones are to blame.
 

IcePickFreak

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So you're suggesting that we ban any activity that can cause death/injury based on the contention that people's lives are more valuable than that activity?

Really didn't think this through did you?
So drunk driving is fine then? Who knew!

Don't worry buddy, it's unlikely anyone is taking your phone privileges away anytime soon. In fact soon you'll be able to hurl your body down the road at 65mph while attending to the important matters, like trolling forums. Technology has ya covered, and it's foolproof™! If not, you (or your surviving family) can always sue - win/win!
 

NeoNemesis

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So drunk driving is fine then? Who knew!

Don't worry buddy, it's unlikely anyone is taking your phone privileges away anytime soon. In fact soon you'll be able to hurl your body down the road at 65mph while attending to the important matters, like trolling forums. Technology has ya covered, and it's foolproof™! If not, you (or your surviving family) can always sue - win/win!

Where did I say it was okay to text and drive or drive drunk? Please, highlight where I said/implied that.
 

collegeboy69us

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I can easily see this being true. On my way to work last night (~10pm) on the highway, I see an SUV kind of swerving back and forth in the lane, almost hit a car that was passing on the left. I pass 2 lanes over for safety, as I go by, what do I see?


Dumb cunt (if you knew me, you'd know it's serious if I use the C word) of a woman with her face buried in her phone while doing 70 down the road weaving in her lane. It's shit like this that makes me wish I was some form of traffic enforcement here in TX. Instant ticket is what I think should happen. And multiple offenders will have their license taken away.

Are people really that so self absorbed and stupid to think whatever text or photo they are doing is worth killing someone on the road for?
 

Tsumi

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Agreed that it can be difficult to enforce at times, because people are clever enough to hold their phones below window level, then it becomes a he-said she-said between the officer and motorist. However, drive down the street and look closely at the people to your left and right. It won't take more than 2 minutes to see someone with their phone up next to their face. Those are the ones you hit with huge fines. That won't stop everyone of course but it will put a big dent in it. To really rid the world of smartphone usage while driving you need to change the culture around it and convince people that it is a deplorable act, which it is.

I think the person with the phone down below the window is far more dangerous than the person with the phone next to their ear. And it isn't hard to spot a person constantly looking down at their phone. IMO there should be far harsher penalties for looking at the phone than listening to it.
 
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