Ridiculous Stat: 38% of 911 Calls are Butt Dials
It happens at least once a day in the radio station studio. I answer the phone, say, “NIN Hello”, and then… nothing. I can hear maybe a faint conversation going on, some road noise, but now one is there. Yep. It’s a butt dial. Now, thanks to a new study, we know that 911 operators get butt dialed ALL THE TIME.
A study out of New York City found that 38% of 911 calls in 2010 were BUTT DIALS. Yes, nearly two out of every five 911 calls were accidentally made by people who didn’t lock their phones. [Ed. Note: If you DON’T know how to lock your phone, you need to figure it out!]
In New York, that amounted to an average of 10,700 false 911 calls per day. In each case, the dispatchers have to take time to try to figure out if someone’s really there, and if they need to send the cops to investigate. I can imagine that the percentage is about the same here, but no where near the 10,700 number in new York City.
And now, here’s the TWIST. Even though butt-dialed 911 calls waste resources and might put people’s lives at risk when they have REAL emergencies . . . cities kinda LOVE them. Yep, they absolutely LOVE THEM. Why? Because butt dialed 911 calls are short, and their times aren’t filtered out when the cities are determining average response times. So all those short calls bring down the average response time to 911 calls, which makes the city look good.
People dying because 911 didn’t send help in time would make the city look BAD, but they don’t really keep stats on THAT.