Driving While Distracted: Smartphones are Killing Americans, Experts Say

If the bad news about smartphones is true, I believe that it would be possible to design a vehicle or a phone so that the phone is inoperative in a moving vehicle.

Where I live when you exit store parking lots there’s a sign that says something to the effect of “Hands free devices only.”

I suppose that means that texting while driving is already a crime. Apparently, it’s a law no one pays attention to.

Excerpt from MSN

Over the past two years, after decades of declining deaths on the road, U.S. traffic fatalities surged by 14.4 percent. In 2016 alone, more than 100 people died every day in or near vehicles in America, the first time the country has passed that grim toll in a decade. Regulators, meanwhile, still have no good idea why crash-related deaths are spiking: People are driving longer distances but not tremendously so; total miles were up just 2.2 percent last year. Collectively, we seemed to be speeding and drinking a little more, but not much more than usual. Together, experts say these upticks don’t explain the surge in road deaths.

There are however three big clues, and they don’t rest along the highway. One, as you may have guessed, is the substantial increase in smartphone use by U.S. drivers as they drive. From 2014 to 2016, the share of Americans who owned an iPhone, Android phone, or something comparable rose from 75 percent to 81 percent.

The second is the changing way in which Americans use their phones while they drive. These days, we’re pretty much done talking. Texting, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are the order of the day—all activities that require far more attention than simply holding a gadget to your ear or responding to a disembodied voice. By 2015, almost 70 percent of Americans were using their phones to share photos and follow news events via social media. In just two additional years, that figure has jumped to 80 percent.

Finally, the increase in fatalities has been largely among bicyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians—all of whom are easier to miss from the driver’s seat than, say, a 4,000-pound SUV—especially if you’re glancing up from your phone rather than concentrating on the road. Last year, 5,987 pedestrians were killed by cars in the U.S., almost 1,100 more than in 2014—that’s a 22 percent increase in just two years.

Safety regulators and law enforcement officials certainly understand the danger of taking—or making—a phone call while operating a piece of heavy machinery. They still, however, have no idea just how dangerous it is, because the data just isn’t easily obtained. And as mobile phone traffic continues to shift away from simple voice calls and texts to encrypted social networks, officials increasingly have less of a clue than ever before.

Out of NHTSA’s full 2015 dataset, only 448 deaths were linked to mobile phones—that’s just 1.4 percent of all traffic fatalities. By that measure, drunk driving is 23 times more deadly than using a phone while driving, though studies have shown that both activities behind the wheel constitute (on average) a similar level of impairment. NHTSA has yet to fully crunch its 2016 data, but the agency said deaths tied to distraction actually declined last year.
There are many reasons to believe mobile phones are far deadlier than NHTSA spreadsheets suggest. Some of the biggest indicators are within the data itself. In more than half of 2015 fatal crashes, motorists were simply going straight down the road—no crossing traffic, rainstorms, or blowouts. Meanwhile, drivers involved in accidents increasingly mowed down things smaller than a Honda Accord, such as pedestrians or cyclists, many of whom occupy the side of the road or the sidewalk next to it. Fatalities increased inordinately among motorcyclists (up 6.2 percent in 2016) and pedestrians (up 9 percent).

“Honestly, I think the real number of fatalities tied to cell phones is at least three times the federal figure,” Jennifer Smith said. “We’re all addicted and the scale of this is unheard of.”

Don’t forget the role that recent immigrants, especially illegal ones, might play in the increase in fatalities. White people are the best drivers. Mexicans are crazy behind the wheel. And Asian drivers are legendary for their poor driving habits.

White Teen Girl Shot in Head Released from Hospital: “I’m tougher than a bullet.”

DESERAE TURNER AFTER.

BEFORE.

A teen girl, Deserae Turner, survived a head shot from a .22 caliber pistol. She was the victim of a premeditated murder plot hatched by two 16 year old boys she knew who stole her stuff.

The criminal justice system is not releasing information about Deserae’s assailants, although one of them is described as a blonde boy, age 16.

KSL

SALT LAKE CITY — Smiling and holding her mother’s hand, 14-year-old Deserae Turner spoke Thursday of gratitude, faith and joy as she was released from Primary Children’s Hospital two months after police say she was shot in the head and left to die.

“I am so thankful to be here today, to be alive,” she told members of the media in her first appearance since the shooting. “I told my dad that I am tougher than a bullet. It is still with me today.”

Deserae has been hospitalized since she was found in a dry canal in extremely critical condition shortly after midnight on Feb 17. Police say she was shot from behind by two 16-year-old boys intent on killing her, leaving her in a medically induced coma and with the remains of the bullet forever lodged in her skull.

But as she read a statement and took questions, Deserae spoke only of her appreciation for the hometown that has supported her, the doctors who have cared for her and the countless strangers who have prayed for her.

“People all over the world have been praying for me. Some of them I know and some I have never met, and they have never met me, but they cared for me, and they care for you,” Deserae said. “I would like others to know that people are kind and they do care about us and are concerned about us, even when we may think no one is there.”

She even picked a special shirt to wear as she returned to her home in the small town of Amalga, in Cache County. On the front of the white T-shirt, the word “Happy” was written in flowing cursive. The back read, “There are so many beautiful reasons to be happy.”

“It says happy on it, and I’m happy to go home,” Deserae said.

Deserae said she was most excited to return home and see her animals, especially her horses.

Deserae also thanked those who “helped take care for my family, especially my mom and dad, while I have been in the hospital.”

Deserae’s parents, Matt and April Turner, celebrated their daughter’s release and praised her strength Thursday.

“What a great day. Because of the love and care of so many, we are taking our beautiful, courageous daughter home today,” Matt Turner said. “Nine weeks ago we did not know if this was possible.”

The family made no reference to the criminal case that is ongoing following the shooting, focusing instead on the joy of having Deserae released from the hospital, and asking that the girl not be questioned about the attack.

Prosecutors say two 16-year-old boys put together a premeditated murder plot targeting Deserae after one of the teens grew tired of her frequent Snapchat messages.

Together they lured Deserae to join them after school on Feb. 16 under the guise of buying a knife, then shot her once in the back of the head at close range, stole her belongings and left her in a dry section of the dirty canal in Smithfield, according to charging documents.

Deserae was found hours later by friends who were searching for her. She spent some time in a medically induced coma, and after awaking, she spoke to police about what little she remembers from that day, including naming the two boys she said she met at the canal.

The two teenage boys are both charged as juveniles with attempted aggravated murder, a first-degree felony; aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony; and four counts of obstruction of justice, a second-degree felony.

KSL has chosen not to identify the two teens at this time.

In separate preliminary hearings last month, 1st District Juvenile Judge Angela Fonnesbeck ordered both teens to stand trial on the charges. The boys now face individual hearings in May, when defense attorneys will argue to retain their cases in the juvenile system while prosecutors push for them to face the charges as adults.

The family declined to answer questions about Deserae’s specific injuries and the recovery that awaits her.

“I have been working really hard and still have a lot of work to do,” Deserae said simply.

Matt Turner said his daughter has “battled for her life” and the ability to do daily tasks — and always will — but the family maintains hope for continued improvement.

Deserae was brought into the press conference in a wheelchair. Helped by her parents, she stood up and took careful steps to a table and chairs that had been set up for them. Her long, curly hair has been cut short, revealing thin surgical scars across her head.

If her hair grows back curly, Deserae said she would like to have it long again. If it is straight, she will keep the short style.

Matt Turner also echoed Deserae’s amazement at the prayers and faith offered to his family.

“We have seen and felt the very best of humanity touch our family’s life over the past several weeks. We know our Heavenly Father has heard your prayers and those heard around the world,” he said.

Deserae echoed her father’s feelings that she has been blessed through her recovery.

“I have felt that my Heavenly Father is with me and has helped me get this far, and I’m so grateful for that,” she said.

More on the teen shooter and his accomplice can be read at sltrib.com.

Bruce Jenner May Have Been Texting Moments Before Fatal Crash

bruce-jenner-transformation-gallery-wide

When you rear end someone’s car the fault is generally yours. When that car is pushed into traffic, struck by another vehicle, and a person killed, you may be guilty of vehicular homicide.

Someone surely has told Bruce Jenner, the former Olympic star who has been publicly transitioning from man to woman, the facts of life about deadly traffic accidents.

Realistically, he/she should be weighing the odds of going to prison.

The question is which prison? A man’s or a woman’s?

To appearances, Jenner is neither a man nor a woman. Biologically, he is a man and always will be a man. Sorry, Bruce, but that’s the truth.

It’s hard to picture women prisoner’s wanting him around. It’s easy to picture male prisoners highly offended by his presence, trying to kill him. So what to do with him becomes a problem for the penal system.

The way the law is going, he’s most likely to be sent to a women’s prison. And even there, he’s going to need to be kept from the general prison population.

Some of those women are pretty tough.

But all of this thinking about where the weirdo ends up begs the question. That question being why is America indulging these mentally ill people by going along with their demands? As I stated in an earlier post on Bruce, Russia will not license trannies and other mentally ill people to drive.

Jenner is a male. He should be treated as such for all purposes. And if much of America is too brainwashed or stupid to understand this, then we realists need to keep repeating the message:

If you were born with a pee pee, then you’re a male.

Not a female.

Not a female.

WND

Bruce Jenner was a driver in a four-car pileup in Malibu that killed one woman and injured seven others – and he’s indirectly blaming his new-found celebrity as a former-Olympian man transitioning to becoming a reality-star woman.

The paparazzi made him do it.

But Los Angeles County Sheriff’s investigators plan to get search warrants to pull Jenner’s cell phone and records, The Los Angeles Times and the celebrity-gossip site TMZ reported on Sunday, to see if he might have been texting just before the fatal crash.

TMZ published pictures of Jenner moments before impact in which he appeared to be holding something in his left hand at chest level – but the object was obscured by the cars’ side-view mirror.

Just before the crash, five paparazzi were following Jenner’s car.

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