While it may not be the cleverest of names, Germany has decided to assign the name “smombies” to the mass of people who are walking the streets lost in the screens of their smartphones, and now a nationwide campaign has been launched to combat the infection that is posing a risk to the drivers who may or may not be “smombies” themselves.
There are not any concrete numbers on how many traffic accidents with pedestrians are due to the rise of smartphone zombies, but German auto club, ACE, believes they have found a link in the accident trends over the past several years. According to the group, 60-percent of accident casualties in the inner cities of Germany involve pedestrians and bikers, and these numbers are continuing to rise at a rate that is similar to the rise in smartphone users.
The ACE sent out volunteers to cities across Germany to get a firsthand look into how many “smombies” are actually plaguing the streets and in some cities found that the infection rate is close to 20-percent. As a response, the ACE has launched the “Hands Off Your Phone in Traffic” campaign to combat the issue in 300 cities across Germany.
Some cities such as Cologne have begun doing their part to combat the plague by installing traffic lights along the curbs so that pedestrians are signaled as the stare down at their phones. The project is still in a “test phase”, but with the numbers of smartphone zombies rising at a record pace, perhaps more will need to be done to make the streets safe again.