Figuratively Speaking for April 11, 2010

Percentage of the information in their driving environment that drivers who use cell phones have a tendency to "look at" but not "see," a form of inattention blindness that results in drivers having difficulty monitoring their surroundings, seeking and identifying potential hazards, and/or responding to unexpected situations, according to The National Safety Council: 50

At any time, percentage of all drivers who are using cell phones, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: 11

According to NSC estimates, percentage of motor vehicle crashes that involve cell phone use at the time of the crash: 25

Source: National Safety Council.

Percentage of people who believe it is possible for themselves and their families to achieve the American Dream, according to a Zogby interactive survey: 57

Percentage who believed they could achieve the American Dream immediately following the November election: 67

When asked the same question in July 2001, less than two months before the Sept. 11 attacks, percentage who said they could achieve the American Dream: 76

Source: Zogby International.

Annual loss to the U.S. economy through piracy and counterfeiting, according to the study, "The True Cost of Copyright Piracy to the U.S. Economy" by The Institute for Policy Innovation: $58 billion

Cost in jobs for U.S. workers: 373,375

Source: Institute for Policy Innovation.

Percentage of Americans who believe the U.S. is the No. 1 military power in the world today, according to a Gallup Poll: 64

Percentage who believe that the U.S. will be No. 1 militarily in 20 years: 36

Source: Gallup.

Percentage of CFOs who said they plan to promote top performers as the economy improves in order to retain employees, according to a survey by Accountemps: 50

Percentage who also plan to raise salaries: 48

Percentage who will do nothing: 24

Source: Accountemps.

In 1911, number of young women who died in one of the most horrifying fires in U.S. history at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, with many trapped behind a fire escape door locked in violation of the law: 146

Today, estimated number of fire departments around the nation that are on duty to help avoid such tragedies: 30,000

Estimated number of people who staff these stations today: 1.1 million

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Percentage of organizations with strong learning cultures that report high employee productivity, according to a Bersin and Associates study: 96

Percentage that report high customer satisfaction: 94

Source: Bersin and Associates.

Percentage of Americans who say that buying a used car is what they will do once their current car stops running, according to a survey conducted for CarMax: 30

Percentage who said that they purchased a car in the past year despite the recession: 18

Percentage who say that they are ready for a new car, but will buy a used car to be smart: 7

Source: CarMax Inc.

Percentage of women 45 and older who say they feel sluggish at least once a week during the winter, according to a survey fielded by Kellogg Co. and Braun Research: 61

Percentage who attribute this to unhealthy eating, especially during the winter months, which are often marked by heavier comfort foods and less frequent exercise: 66

Percentage who attribute it to less frequent exercise: 77

Source: Braun Research.

Estimated amount of money that Africa lost in illicit financial outflows from 1970 through 2008, according to a report released from Global Financial Integrity: $854 billion

Ratio of illicit financial outflows from the entire region compared to official development assistance going into the region: 2 to 1

Source: Global Financial Integrity.

Idle Thought

"Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work." -- Stephen King, author

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at johnmacintyre(at)

More like Figuratively Speaking