Higher Risk of Accidents for Pedestrians Wearing Headphones
Pedestrians wearing headphones may be at risk, according to a new U.S. study. Headphones and accidents apparently go hand-in-hand.
The number of injuries sustained by pedestrians wearing headphones has tripled since 2004. The most common cause of injury was by train. The majority of the surveyed accidents took place in cities -- only 12% occurred in rural areas.
The accidents were severe -- some 70% of them were fatal.
The reason behind the increased safety risk seems to be a pedestrian's awareness. Those who don headphones might not hear horns or sirens or the sound of a moving vehicle.
This means they may end up in a dangerous situation without even realizing it.
Auditory cues may be important to help prevent accidents. So even though pedestrians may be keeping their eyes on the road, with their ears glued to their iPod music they can still end up in danger.
Pedestrian safety is important. Many parents might be concerned about their kids. After all, teens and students often choose to listen to music while walking to school.
It's something that parents may want to talk to their children about. Parents might also need to instruct kids on proper pedestrian safety. Crossing streets is dangerous. Make sure children know procedures that may minimize injuries. For example, tell kids that they need to cross at crosswalks. They also should make eye contact with drivers.
Also, they should be careful even if drivers do seem to acknowledge their presence. There's no guarantee they will stop.
That's why pedestrians wearing headphones should take a few extra precautions. Turn down the music a little -- you never know when it could save your life.
- Wearing headphones while you walk is deadly; deaths and serious injuries tripled in past 6 years (New York Daily News)
- IL Pedestrian Law: Drivers Must Stop at Crosswalks (FindLaw Blotter)
- 'Cash Cab' Crash Kills Vancouver Pedestrian (FindLaw's Injured)