The DiePhone: The Many Ways Your Smartphone Could Kill You or Someone You Love

By Rob Enderle July 07, 2015

An iPhone case shaped like a gun has been flagged on the East Coast and it comes with a “fun” Russian roulette app.  I’m sure there are stupider things than pulling something that looks like a gun out of your back pocket or purse and then aiming at people’s heads but I’m having trouble thinking of it at the moment.  

Having anything that looks like a gun anywhere on your person is incredibly dangerous at the moment—considering the several mass shootings, terrorist alert out, and several police officers shot.  Combined, this suggests law enforcement is far more likely to shoot first and ask questions later. Particularly if they see you aim something that looks like a gun at someone else’s head.  

But there are a lot of ways a cell phone could get you killed today beyond a case that folks don’t think about.  Here are a few: 

The Other Driver Texting & Driving

Realize it isn’t just you texting and driving that could get you killed.  Just this weekend when I was leaving from the latest Terminator movie (great movie by the way) there was a Prius parked where it should have been and the driver appeared to be texting on his phone.  As I got behind the car the car moved to turn me into a pancake (a Prius is an electric/gas hybrid and doesn’t make a sound when it initially moves).  I saw the guy texting and figured he wasn’t going to back up, my mistake almost made me dead. 

Image via Shutterstock

As you drive down the freeway you’ll see a lot of folks texting while they drive, and I make a practice of giving them plenty of room (1.3M crashes result from this).   They won’t see the car breaking in front of them in time and even if you are following their car at a reasonable distance and not tailgating, you’ll still likely end up in their trunk if they plow into the car in front of them. While it should be their fault, typically the last car is the one that gets the big bill—and you’ll be the last car (proving the driver you hit was texting would be nearly impossible).   So while following anyone at a distance is always prudent, particularly if they seem to be having trouble staying in their lane drop back or just go around them and let the accident happen to someone else. 

Texting While Walking

Microsoft actually had whole ad campaign on this (which they unfortunately ended too early) and it showcases a lot of things that you’ve actually likely seen in person.  Folks walking into traffic without looking, falling into open holes, or waking into some rather unforgiving things.  More people get hurt doing this than those that text and drive. If you are on a bicycle having someone texting just step right in front of you is a common occurrence here and I know Tesla drivers complain of pedestrians, generally texting, stepping right out in front of them in San Francisco (we have more Tesla’s here than Toyotas it seems) Teslas are really quiet.  

Unless you really want to break a leg, walk into a pole, or become the latest statistic just find a place to sit while you text.   The extra time you save isn’t worth your health or life. 

Using a Phone in a Theater

This is really annoying (I had a guy in front of me doing this over the weekend) and not only could it result in your phone being taken away but at least one person has been killed for doing this (folks get really upset).   Even during the previews it is iffy, so at least turn your screen brightness way down at that time.   As it gets hotter, people tend to get really short tempers. And, while they may regret hurting you, a little bit of curtesy could actually save your life.   No matter how big you are there is always someone bigger or better armed and you don’t want to learn that lesson the hard way.

Wrapping Up: 

There are a lot of ways a cell phone could get you killed other than using it while driving.   Granted I still think the stupidest right now is making it look like a gun but be aware there are a lot of stupid people out there and not only don’t you want to be one, you don’t want to be near one either.   A smartphone can be a deadly weapon, just make sure it doesn’t become one for you or anyone you care about (you may want to chat with your kids and take a look at their cell phone holder

President and Principal Analyst, Enderle Group

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