Mainly due to the addition of clean air restrictions, the average American lifespan has recently risen to over 78. That means that with current trends, the average American born today will die having spent the equivalent of over 28 years of his or her life watching electronic screens. And being that the equivalent of over 28 years is also spent sleeping, the average American born today will spend the equivalent of only 22 years of his or her 78 year life doing things other than sleeping and watching electronic screens.
Keep in mind that the average American born today will spend the equivalent of 6.5 years eating and drinking; though many will do this during their 28 years watching electronic screens of one sort or another.
* * *
The average American household has 2 automobiles and the average American adult spends 1.5 hours a day in their cars. That is nearly a total of 23 days per year spent driving.
Americans spend a total of around 3.7 billion hours in traffic delays. That comes to about 17 hours per year for the average American adult. Moreover, in 51 cities across the country, the average motorist is stuck in traffic for over 20 hours per year with other cities having averages as high as 90 hours like those living in Los Angeles.
While sitting in traffic, American’s waste nearly 2.3 billion gallons of fuel per year. At 2 US Dollars per gallon, that means that 4.6 billion US Dollars a year are wasted due to traffic delays. That would pay for nearly 10 percent of President Obama’s proposed health care plan. Curious enough, it was also discovered that one is 3 times more likely to suffer a heart attack after sitting through traffic delays.
By 2020, worldwide traffic injuries are expected to reach the third most common cause of death. In China, traffic injuries account for nearly 75,000 deaths per year and are already the primary cause of death for people under the age of 45. For the USA, with a population one-fifth the size of China’s, 40,000 people die each year from traffic injuries.
* * *
American’s log over 2 trillion cell phone minutes per year. That means that the average American spends a total of nearly 4.5 days per year talking on a cell phone.
* * *
Where did the time go for the theoretical 78 year old?
- 28 years watching electronic screens
- 28 years sleeping
- 6.5 years eating and drinking
- 4.5 years driving
- 1 year talking on a cell phone
= 10 years
That means that the average American spends only 3 hours per day awake, not eating or drinking, and away from the aforementioned modern conveniences.
Stetler, Brian. 8 Hours a Day Spent on Screens, Study Finds. The New York Times. March 26, 2009.
Hamrick, Ket, Karen Hopkins and David McClelland. How Much Time do Americans Spend Eating. Entrepreneur. December, 2008.
Total Population—Life Expectancy. Nation Master. May, 2009.
Road Traffic Deaths in China Have Soared Almost 100 Percent in 20 Years. Science Daily. June, 2008.
Copeland, Larry. Traffic Deaths Down in 42 States. USA Today. February, 2009.
Holguin, Jaime. Gridlock Driving Up Wasted Time. CBS News. May, 2005.
O’Connor, Anahad. Heart Attack Risk Linked to Time Spent in Traffic. The New York Times. October 26, 2004.