One of the areas of specialization in my Public Relations practice is traffic safety. I've been working in this segment of PR for more than 20 years, since I organized and publicized the first World Traffic Safety Symposium for the New York Auto Show.
The Auto Show work led to a contract for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and then the National Road Safety Foundation, a non-profit that produces safe driving educational programs and distributes them free to schools, police and individuals. I've also done work for companies that market traffic safety-related products including one I recently started with -- a just-launched cellphone app called LifeSaver that prevents the user from texting and driving.
A recent Forrester Research study shows that 68 percent of us access the internet from our cars. Hopefully, not all are driving when they do that, but it's easy to see what a big danger cellphones have become for those of us on the road.
The survey also shows that 64 percent go online via mobile devices in our living rooms; 63 percent in restaurants; 61 percent in the bedroom; 51 percent in the kitchen; 50 percent in the bathroom; 45 percent on public transit.
The restaurant figure shows how addicted we've become to being connected. We've all been in restaurants where you'll see a group of people at a table -- all looking down at their phones instead of engaging in conversation with their tablemates. As for the bathroom statistic -- well, I guess going online is yet another way to be productive in the bathroom. Talk about multi-tasking!
George Simpson, who writes for Media Daily News, has a good column on the subject. It'll give you a chuckle as you scratch your head and wonder... "What are we becoming?" Or as Simpson headlines his column: "Sure signs that society is starting to crumble."