Monday, January 12, 2009

I've Got Your Number

Use your cell phone carefully when calling us this morning—and no cell phones in some school zones, either. The National Safety Council wants to ban cell phone use while driving on the job. An interesting caveat.

How does driving on the job and chatting on the cell phone differ from holding court on a cell phone while moving at 80-mph during your personal time?

Are you less distracted discussing soccer, weekend plans, or grocery lists behind the wheel than you are when steering with one hand and dictating a memo down the phone?

You can bet the Cell Phone industry will be up in arms over this one; in fact, I’m sure there are several cell phone company CEO’s talking about this on their way into the office as we speak.

The National Safety Council
is a rather morbid group…they count, among other things, the ways in which you and I might meet our maker. Kind of like the Darwin Awards, only more inclusive.

In 2005, the last year for which a complete book of statistics has been amassed, the National Safety Council’s own website shows that there were 45,343 motor vehicle deaths; they also calculated that your lifetime odds of dying in a car crash are 1:84. The NSC website does not provide a line-item of odds for being killed while driving under the influence of someone else on the other end of the line.

23,618 passed into the next life through accidental poisoning or exposure to noxious substances. 19,656 people fell to their deaths, regardless of the height, and 18, 124 died from personal assaults.

But the NSC does count some interesting ways in which we can meet our demise:
Did you know the odds of you dying as the result of a foreign body entering your body through the skin or natural orifice is 1:103,004?
37 people passed in such a manner in 2005.

The odds of dying as the result of fireworks discharge are 952,000:1.
The odds of being killed as a passenger of a three-wheeled vehicle are 762,000:1.

And if you use nightwear, the odds of cooling to room temperature as the result of ignition or melting of nightwear are 635,000:1.

Perhaps the lesson is to not wear pajamas on your ATV, shooting fireworks…and talking on your cell phone.

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