If a popular TV Ad by a Telecom Network brand is to go by, you are born with a smartphone in your hand. You obviously live with one and if you are not careful you are perhaps going to die with a smartphone in your hand too. Alarmed? No, we are not alluding to topics like radiations from the phones can be harmful or how you should not text while driving, each of them being covered in a lot of depth in the past. Obviously, they are two factors you must keep in mind when you use smartphones. However, beyond these two well-covered topics, there are still use cases where smartphones can be potentially very hazardous. And we thought it would only be right to warn you of them, cause hey, we love you and you are awesome. And we want you around.
Text messaging while walking
image source: arstechnica
We have been there too, where a message was so important that it absolutely needed your attention. Where your potential fancied date would have perhaps stood you up if you did not reply within nanoseconds of your last seen changing. However, when you’re walking down the road, please avoid texting anyone, or just using your phone at all. You lose not only the sight of the road but your mind wanders off to places that are not real and all of a sudden you end up being at risk not only of a vehicle hitting you, but you perhaps becoming a victim to not so perfect roads. It is then easy to blame the authorities, the Chief Minister and maybe even the Prime Minister, but the cardinal sin of texting while walking was committed by you. Avoid it at any cost. Pay attention to the road, that Candy Crush request can wait.
Running or driving with noise cancellation earphones
image source: couriermail
Those of us who like to go on long runs on the road or have been made to wait patiently by the traffic signal know how irritating and painful those long streaks of horns are. And not to forget the never ending slur of choicest words from the nearby auto driver or the rowdy guys riding a bike expressing their lewd love interest in the pretty lady going by. The easy solution to avoid all this noise pollution is to plug in headphones, ramp the volume up and transcend into the world that is nearby Nirvana. However, this is a really dangerous thing to do. Not only do you miss out on warning horns, you also are totally unaware of sirens like those of a police car or an ambulance that demand your attention. While running, because you can barely see behind your back, you have no idea which side the messenger of death is riding looking for you. Do yourself a favour if you really love your headphones and your life, lower the volume enough that you can at least hear those around you and pay heed to the warnings signals.
Looking at maps when you drive
image source: recombu
Google Maps is lovely. If you love to travel, we bet if it had a phone number, it would be your favorite in the contact list. However, Google Maps is just as distracting. You already have at worst, about two mirrors and a road before you to concentrate. In case, you need to use maps, please use a mount for your phone on the dashboard and allow for voice navigation. Follow the voice and not the screen. And if you are still unsure, ask for the assistance of someone who is sitting in the co-passengers seat. And if you are driving alone, and hate the mechanical voice of the navigator, simply ask your way around. It is better to stop a couple of times than miss a fast overtaking truck in your rear view mirror and ram into it. Oh and not to forget, do not follow maps blindly too.
Trying to pair Bluetooth of your phone
image source: Bobby Kolahi
With smartphones gradually becoming the one-stop entertainment hub for all of us, you are not alone if your smartphone holds the music library of your choice. It is tempting and obvious to want to play music from your phone and connecting the device via Bluetooth not just for music but also for the ease of taking phone calls. However, most modern day cars unpair your devices the moment you cut the engine off, which you may when on a traffic signal. However, the moment your car moves, there is a chance that your phone would not get automatically paired. Do not try to pair devices when the car is moving. Pretty much every modern day car only allows you to pair your phone when the car is stationary. If you think missing out on that electro track is too big a deal, we recommend using either a USB port or the good old AUX to make the connection and enjoy the music. Don’t try to fiddle with Bluetooth when you are driving. Also, we would advise you to have a playlist, so that you do not end up toggling between the tracks too much when you are on the road.
Using duplicate chargers or substandard chargers
image source: burntech
While you may not instantly die the moment you connect a faulty charger to your device, it could still potentially be a major hazard. There have been numerous reports of iPhones catching fire, where the culprit device was injected Coulombs via unauthentic chargers. These chargers tend to meddle with the battery, which on malfunctioning can cause a serious damage. Most of us are used to keeping phones in our pockets, and in case the phone accidently catches fire there, you could end up suffering a series of burns. Spending on an expensive second charger is worth your hard earned money. When your original charger inevitably tells you that it is not working out anymore, please hold the guts and strength to go up and invest in a new one. It would keep you and your phone safe.
Clicking selfies at dangerous locations
Just the other weekend, the Pricebaba team was out and about on a trip to colder avenues of a hill station. To our surprise, we noticed plenty of teens with smartphones, standing right at the edge of the mountainous road clicking a selfie, presumably to get the mountain in the background. There were those who were trying to really bend as far away as possible from the phone to capture the wider angle. Immediately seeing this, you know why India ranks among the counties with the highest casualty rates when it comes to deaths due to selfies. You can for all the money in the bank, bet on the cool stud boy who would be standing bang at the edge of a fast motorway and clicking his selfie. We understand the Selfie culture, and we love taking a selfie too, but just like there is a place for everything, there is a place for selfie too. You may actually capture a cool selfie, but God forbid if a rash driver decides to photobomb you, you could actually end up being in grievous trouble.
Using VR in an obstacle prone area
It looks like VR or Virtual Reality would be the next big move on in the world of smartphones. The likes of Samsung are already betting big on it and there are some rumours that Apple is ready to follow the suit. VR can be an extremely immersive experience and if played for a very long time, can cause some uneasiness. However, that is not the problem. The potential problem could be if you end up using a VR headset in an area that is not meant for it. Places like living rooms or busy corridors could be absolute disasters. You could easily end up whacking yourself hard again an obstacle and potentially fall off a railing if you do not realize where you are heading to. The problem with a VR is that you are totally cut off from the outside world and can see absolutely nothing outside. This possesses a great risk to yourself and your good-being. Ensure you use VR in areas where there is no obstruction and you are sure not to trip by.
Trying to emulate that Asphalt move
If you like driving, there is every chance on the green planet that you have played one of those driving simulation games. No, we are not accusing you of playing while driving, shame if you do that, but even keeping the gameplay in the memory if you do. It is easy to get attracted to that nearly impossible manoeuvre that you pulled off on the streets of California and try and replicate the same of the busy Western Express Highway, as you did on your iPhone. But please cut away from it. As good as CGI is and however realistic the gameplay is, it is not real and you should avoid getting sucked into it like the plague. This is an easy one to dismiss and say, it does not affect, but psychologically, it becomes a part of our thinking and that can be dangerous. Ensure that you do not do an overdose of these games and obey the traffic rules and signals.
Using smartphones at petrol pumps
There have been numerous arguments and counter arguments of using or not using phones at petrol pumps. If you go by the official notice, you should ideally keep your phones in an airplane mode when you are either at a CNG station or a petrol station. Yet, there is not any documented incident where something went bad because of using phones at gas pumps. You can kind of drive an analogy on why you should keep your phone turned off when you are flying. It has not caused any crash, and it is unlikely to do so, but if there is a warning, it should be adhered to. However, most of us seem to find those two minutes that the helper needs to unscrew the cap and fill the liquid gold in your ride, too precious to let go and answer those unanswered WhatsApp messages or take those marked in red calls. Not to forget, that there is the new cool way, where you can now transfer the payments on gas stations using your smartphone. We are sure that companies facilitating this have done their research and everything is good in the paradise, however, the fact that smartphones should not be used at gas stations still remain a warning that must be taken seriously. If not for the safety of yourself but for the safety of everyone around you. Carry enough cash or be generous with your plastic money card.
Being wild and ferocious, the road anyway claims thousands and thousands of lives a year. Presenting it a chance to do so, simply because the temptation is too much to use a luxury device, though, does not seem like the smartest idea. We encourage all our users on Pricebaba to not only drive safe but also to concentrate on the road. The WhatsApp chat, the important interview call, the cute Snapchat or that argument on Twitter is not worth your life. Come home safely and get back to using your phone as judiciously as you always have done. Perhaps if something happens to you, your phone would miss you as much as your loved ones, so for its sake!