Popular Culture

4 Deaths Caused by Texting



Everybody knows at least one text addict, especially if you replace ‘one’ with ‘ten’. The phone is part of their anatomy. They look like they text in their sleep, and some are so totally oblivious you’d have to wonder what would happen if they noticed there was a planet going on all around them. They’d probably send it a text to find out what it was doing there.  Here are four people who have neglected their lives for text messaging so much that they and/or others actually died.

The Little Engineer Who Texted Himself to Death



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The case of The Little Engine that Texted Itself to Death occurred in California, 2008. After a train carrying 227 people crashed into another and killed 25 passengers, the National Transportation Safety Board found fault with the engineer. Robert Sanchez was so busy texting that he ran not one, but three red lights warning him to make a short stop so another train could pass by. Sanchez was included in the death toll, and 102 others were injured. They even made an I Survived episode out of it, featuring two victims who witnessed bloody corpses and mangled, screaming people stuck inside the train. The engineer had sent 43 text messages some to “young railroad fans”.   

Texting While Driving – The American Dream



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Texting is great on the road (multitasking, duh), especially while driving in stopped traffic. It makes it more interesting. The idea is that the driver keeps texting and driving at around 70mph while everyone else is, well, completely stopped.

There are approximately 30,000-40,000 fatalities on US roads per year. The chances of being killed by a “distracted” driver are about 1 in 6. A 2010 survey shows some interesting stats:

– In 2009 there were 5474 deaths and 448,000 injuries caused by distracted driving on US roads.
– 867 fatal accidents are definitely known to have involved cell phones.
– Teenagers who are texting while driving spend about 10% of their time in the wrong lane.

Even talking on a cell phone reduces the reaction times of a teen driver to those “of a 70 year old”. Maybe not a very focused one, either. After all, why waste your time watching the boring old road when you can find out every tiny detail of someone’s new reason for whining? You might miss something.   â€¨ 

Paying Bills



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There are possible downsides to texting on the road, however. One woman managed to pay three bills using her cell phone… before ramming in to another stopped car, which burst into flames and roasted the poor driver to death. Fictional PSAs could never think this up. The texting driver was sentenced to six years for vehicular manslaughter.

Now the really great news- There are about 800,000 US drivers doing something other than driving on the road at any one time. You can assume that a few Grim Texters are among them.  

Death of Relationships



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A new survey shows that when adults want to kill a relationship, they use technology; notably, text messages. The fatal beauty of this arrangement is that like all forms of communications, they can be misinterpreted.

A classic case of death by misinterpretation happened in Turkey, where a separating couple were arguing by text. A misspelled word from the man to the woman resulted in the woman showing the text to her father. A knife fight followed, in which both were killed. 

Instead of writing “you change the topic every time you run out of arguments” but accidentally wrote “you change the topic every time they are f***ing you.” It doesn’t seem worth a murder, but whatever. The guy actually tried to apologize but was thwarted by the knife which stabbed him to death. While he was being stabbed to death, he stabbed his ex-girlfriend to death. Texting is truly evil.

Texting Condolences

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Text messaging is nothing if not adaptable. Not only is it possible to reduce the global population by texting, it’s also possible to get text condolence services as well. If you search “text condolences sample”, you find things like these:
My (our) love and sympathy go out to you in your great sorrow. 
I (we) share your sorrow, for I (we) have lost a dear friend. All love and sympathy to you and yours. 
In your great sorrow you have my (our) deepest sympathy. 
My (our) sincere sympathy goes out to you in your heavy affliction.

You can just see Shakespeare taking one look at these things and going back to being a plumber, can’t you? (Venice was bone dry before Will’s apprenticeship.) Hallmark must be shaking in their cliché-ridden boots at these overwhelming displays of heartfelt emotion.

If, perhaps, someone can overcome their deep need for pronoun (pronoun) expressions of dazzlingly over the top sincerity (laziness), they could actually send someone something worth reading (caring about).

Nah. Too much like effort, isn’t it?


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