“iPod Oblivion” Causes 17 Accidents Per Day in UK, Says Automobile Association
Apparently, our former rulers across the pond get really into their music. According to the UK Automobile Association, iPod distraction is responsible for an average 17 accidents per day. People just gotta hear their jams, yo? Surely you can’t expect people to keep their eyes on the road when their ears are being so sweetly serenaded?
The UK AA has even gone so far as to coin a term for this iPad distraction epidemic: “iPod oblivion.” Well, that just makes me want to play Elder Scrolls IV on an iPod, now. Thanks a lot, guys. Well, that or it makes me want the iPods to actually be either exploding or vanishing into thin air, mystifying and distracting their owners.
The Association says incidents of this nature have risen 5 percent in the last year, and they worry that driving with mobile devices is getting more and more dangerous:
AA president Edmund King said: ‘When on the move our brains have much to take in and using technological gadgets means that our brains can’t always concentrate on so many things at once.
‘This is when we walk into traffic, don’t hear the truck, or drive cocooned from the outside world.
‘We can’t stop the march of technology but we need to halt the iPod pedestrian, cycle and driver zombies.
For some context on what causes accidents in general, here is a breakdown on the causes of accidents, based on UK and American data:
A 1985 study by K. Rumar, using British and American crash reports as data, found that 57% of crashes were due solely to driver factors, 27% to combined roadway and driver factors, 6% to combined vehicle and driver factors, 3% solely to roadway factors, 3% to combined roadway, driver, and vehicle factors, 2% solely to vehicle factors and 1% to combined roadway and vehicle factors.
So these accidents are of the most common sort, but just what percentage of all accidents is made up by these portable device distractions? A chart that you can download and view from here states there were around 221,0000 total road accidents in the UK in 2002. Those numbers have likely increased a bit, so accounting for that, we can say that these “iPod oblivion” accidents account for about 2 percent of all accidents in the UK. That doesn’t sound like much, but it’s still over 6,000 accidents that could have easily been avoided.
Perhaps the real problem here though is calling it “iPod oblivion” when it’s intended to cover all portable digital distractions. Come on, now, UK AA, let’s not turn iPod into the new Kleenex or Xerox.