Like most folks who read this blog, I have extremely busy days. Yesterday, I got up at 5am - per usual -completed my morning routine, and launched out the door. The game plan was to complete an annual client review with a top client, review a proposal with the CFO of a large precision machining company, and then cold call until the day was over.
When I got home, I asked Anna if she would like fish or chicken for dinner. She said chicken and I carried on with what I was doing. Not more than 5 minutes later, I asked her again what she would like for dinner. She shook her head and I realized that I had done it again.
Forgetfulness, distraction, and living life without intention has taken hold of me and so many others and it is eating away out our lives without us even realizing it. This week, I was on the phone with one of my clients who pays my company over half a million dollars a year to insure his business. He was frustrated by not being able to find his phone. “Bill – you’re on the phone with me right now.”
These stories are harmless, but our addiction to distraction and lack of focus has become a real problem. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has said that every day over 67% of drivers are driving while using electronic devices. On average, since the introduction of cell phones, over 3000 lives per year are taken due to distracted driving.
At this level, I view the distracted driving problem as an epidemic and something we need to come together to stop. Individually, we need to commit to labeling the car a phone free zone and not use it while driving. Companies need to step up as well. Phones manufactured by Apple, Samsung, and Google all have the ability right now to sense when you are driving at a certain speed and they could trigger them to be inactive when you reach a certain speed.
Trust me, these devices manufacturers know the amount of death and destruction that is the result of someone using their devices, and the fact that they refuse to do anything pisses me off. These companies can literally flip a switch and save over 2000 lives per year and prevent over 200,000 injuries. Yet, they refuse to. They are too busy sitting on one of history’s largest piles of money ever.
Someone told me over the Thanksgiving holiday that this argument sounds like the argument for gun control. It’s not. The American society has a whole is addicted and we have the power to prevent the drug from being used while we do the most dangerous thing we do in our lives. Let’s compare it more to drinking and driving. You can’t prevent people from being alcoholics, but if you had a guaranteed way to prevent all alcoholics from driving drunk, would you do it?