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These accidents were due to both being distracted by their devices and blocking the sounds of the warning systems with their headphones

The fact that wearing headphones while navigating a city on foot can be dangerous seems pretty obvious, but the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore collaborated on a study to show exactly how dangerous the activity can be.

Richard Lichenstein, M.D., lead author of the study and associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and director of pediatric emergency medicine research at the University of Maryland Medical Center, said that injuries to pedestrians who are wearing headphones have tripled in six years.

"Everybody is aware of the risk of cell phones and texting in automobiles, but I see more and more teens distracted with the latest devices and headphones in their ears," said Lichenstein. "Unfortunately, as we make more and more enticing devices, the risk of injury from distraction and blocking out other sounds increases."

Lichenstein and his team conducted the study by taking cases where headphones were involved in serious pedestrian injuries/fatalities from car or train crashes from 2004-2011 reports from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, Westlaw Campus Research databases and Google News Archives. Lichenstein's team reviewed a total of 116 cases during that time period.

According to the study's results, 68 percent of pedestrians injured or killed due to wearing headphones were male, and 67 percent were under the age of 30. About 55 percent of the vehicles involved in the headphone-related accidents were trains, and 29 percent of the vehicles involved used a horn or other type of audible warning system to let the pedestrians know they were there. In addition, nearly three-quarters of the headphone-related injuries were fatal.

Lichenstein said these accidents were due to both being distracted by their devices and blocking the sounds of the warning systems with their headphones, which Lichenstein called sensory deprivation.

This study was published in Injury Prevention.

Source: University of Maryland

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By PeaJay on 1/18/2012 12:24:08 PM , Rating: 5
... nuff said

RE: Darwin
By Tequilasunriser on 1/18/12, Rating: 0
RE: Darwin
By kattanna on 1/18/2012 12:44:33 PM , Rating: 2
the only real concern is did they have a chance to breed already?

RE: Darwin
By Reclaimer77 on 1/18/12, Rating: -1
RE: Darwin
By Tequilasunriser on 1/18/2012 12:57:44 PM , Rating: 3
Why are there even pedestrians anyway? I drive everywhere I go and I do NOT walk around in areas where I can be hit by a car unless absolutely unavoidable.

RE: Darwin
By invidious on 1/18/2012 1:19:57 PM , Rating: 4
Reclaimer doesn't live in the real world, he lives in a fantasy land of absolutes and ideals that only exists in his head. I am sure you will notice the recurring theme if you read these comment sections regularly.

RE: Darwin
By Reclaimer77 on 1/18/2012 1:23:31 PM , Rating: 1
No I just don't live in a crowded inner city because I'm not an idiot. I live in the real world, thank you. I have a smartphone, tablet, MP3 player etc etc. I manage to use all these things WITHOUT getting hit by a car.

Point still stands. The longer you play in traffic the higher your statistical odds increase of having a traffic related accident. Not sure what the controversy is with that, it's common sense.

RE: Darwin
By Flunk on 1/18/2012 2:25:39 PM , Rating: 4
Are you sure you're not an idiot? The fact that you can't understand why anyone else would do something you wouldn't want to do is a dead giveaway.

By your logic if I don't drive a car I could argue that 100% of car accidents wouldn't happen if everyone was like me and didn't drive a car.

RE: Darwin
By Reclaimer77 on 1/18/2012 2:43:13 PM , Rating: 2
The fact that you can't understand why anyone else would do something you wouldn't want to do is a dead giveaway.

Man your reading comprehension SUCKS. I'm not saying that at ALL. Plus good grief, you people REALLY suck at picking up intentional comedic derived apathy.

Can we just get back to the thing about you're an idiot if you get hit by car? Cool. You know, the Darwin thing?

RE: Darwin
By V-Money on 1/18/2012 4:28:49 PM , Rating: 2
I think your perspective changes based on where you are. For instance, here in Cali I walk all the time, I live in wine country so its not too overly crowded, but the system for pedestrians is nice and you don't really have to worry about drivers trying to run you down.

When I lived for a couple of years in South Carolina though, roughly the same city/density as here, you had to be crazy to walk anywhere. There were rarely sidewalks, very few crosswalks, and crossing the street was like playing human frogger. It seemed like everyone was trying to run you down.

RE: Darwin
By TakinYourPoints on 1/18/2012 10:22:00 PM , Rating: 1
Are you sure you're not an idiot?

He's not sure, but most casual readers here certainly are.

One more thing I learned today: Reclaimer is most likely a fattass who gets no exercise. The picture he paints for himself gets funnier every day.

RE: Darwin
By Reclaimer77 on 1/19/2012 12:51:49 AM , Rating: 2
You never surprise me with your child-like pettiness and your lame insults Takin. If you think walking around in traffic is exercise, I suggest you look up this new thing called a "gym".

What's next champ, yo momma jokes?

RE: Darwin
By TakinYourPoints on 1/19/2012 4:34:13 AM , Rating: 1
There are things outside the boondocks called sidewalks, you should try them some time.

I love the fact that your argument hinges around "walking in traffic", cause you know, that's what people in cities do...

I'm blown away by how regularly you demonstrate how stupid you are. Normally I have to troll people into saying dumb things, with you it's Christmas every day!

RE: Darwin
By Reclaimer77 on 1/19/2012 10:14:19 AM , Rating: 2
I love the fact that your argument hinges around "walking in traffic", cause you know, that's what people in cities do...

Takin, the article is about people being hit by vehicles, is it not? Unless vehicles are leaping onto sidewalks to hit pedestrians, which apparently isn't the case here, even you can connect the dots.

I took a LOT of risks when I was younger doing stupid crap and paid for them. When that happens enough, you learn not to take them. Do I maybe have a complex? Sure, that could be. Several major surgeries will do that to you. But I always ask myself what's the worst case scenario when doing something. In this case it's being hit by a car. How do we minimize this? Well paying attention is a BIG one obviously lol.

But you know what, I was trying to be apathetic to the extreme cause I thought maybe it was funny, and it blew up in my face. But you know what? I think it will be okay :) I slept just fine.

I'm blown away by how regularly you demonstrate how stupid you are.

I'm sorry I don't bow down to your Apple deity and that offended you to the core (get it?) and made me an enemy. However if I demonstrate my stupidity, you only demonstrate your immaturity and ignorance. Fat insults, inbreeding jokes, and other attempts by you don't put you in a very flattering light. This isn't 4Chan btw.

RE: Darwin
By TakinYourPoints on 1/22/2012 6:39:14 AM , Rating: 2
Do I maybe have a complex? Sure, that could be.

Several, certainly

RE: Darwin
By sprockkets on 1/18/2012 1:42:23 PM , Rating: 2
It's called Poe's Law Tequilasunriser.

RE: Darwin
By FITCamaro on 1/18/2012 1:15:11 PM , Rating: 4
Clearly some kind of legislation is needed to end these needless tragedies!

RE: Darwin
By Griffinhart on 1/18/2012 2:14:19 PM , Rating: 2
Don't joke too much...

There are some trying to do just that!

RE: Darwin
By Omega215D on 1/18/2012 5:14:54 PM , Rating: 2
Which punishes people like me who do make use of earbuds while out and about but still very aware of my surroundings.

We should just let the gene pool be cleansed of these idiots.

RE: Darwin
By DeluxeTea on 1/18/2012 10:25:49 PM , Rating: 2
From the article linked:
The New York bill was proposed by State Senator Carl Kruger, a Brooklyn Democrat who has grown alarmed by the amount of distraction he sees on the streets in his neighborhood and across New York City. Since September, Mr. Kruger wrote in the bill, three pedestrians have been killed and one was critically injured while crossing streets and listening to music through headphones.

“We're taught from knee-high to look in both directions, wait, listen and then cross,” he said. “You can perform none of those functions if you are engaged in some kind of wired activity.”

Is this guy serious? If a person cannot take a few seconds to take his eyes off his gadget to look around before crossing the street, he deserves to get hit.

RE: Darwin
By MrBlastman on 1/18/2012 4:04:29 PM , Rating: 3
First up, ban the cars!

Cars are:


Very heavy and bulky, thus harmful to humans if they hit them.

Polluting both in use and to be built.

Useful only to the driver and passengers but to nobody outside them!

I could name more but the last point, in particular, shows why regulations should be enacted, NOW! If any object/service/solution does not benefit the highest denominator in all situations, it is selfish and should not be allowed to exist. Cars are selfish! They don't let everyone get to where they want to go all at one time. They also require annoying asphalt and concrete roads which get in the way, along with crosswalks and stupid crossing signs that make pedestrians wait.

Even worse, cars require the use of school zone crossing guards to protect the children. The Children! They need to be protected from cars so that alone makes them a filthy evil that needs to be stopped. Oh woe is the child that has to wait while that yellow-vested hero weilding the red octagon of power slays the metal beasts that inhabit the tar-beast asphalt rivers of sludge!

See. Cars are bad. They need to be banned now. Enact legislation to save us all!



RE: Darwin
By croc on 1/18/2012 5:04:05 PM , Rating: 2
You were doing just fine, then you put that '/sarcasm' tag on it...

RE: Darwin
By FITCamaro on 1/18/2012 7:49:47 PM , Rating: 1
As were you. Until you kept breathing.

RE: Darwin
By LordSojar on 1/19/2012 6:00:38 AM , Rating: 2
Well uh oh... me and my Klipsch S4s... I just hope the car that hits me is really nice. Perhaps a Maybach or Rolls? That would be lovely. :)

RE: Darwin
By MrBlastman on 1/19/2012 10:06:13 AM , Rating: 1
Having headphones on does not give you any excuse for being ignorant of your surroundings. If you choose to walk while listening to music, you must be prepared to accept all the consequences...

Things like being mugged, attacked, run over or even falling into a random hole. If they happen, you have to be prepared to accept that it was none other than your own fault.

RE: Darwin
By jklauderdale on 1/20/2012 9:38:39 AM , Rating: 2
Things like being mugged, attacked, run over or even falling into a random hole. If they happen, you have to be prepared to accept that it was none other than your own fault.

Are you seriously saying that if you're attacked, raped, mugged or otherwise physically assaulted while listening to headphones it's YOUR fault and not the attackers? Going to blame a woman for getting raped because her skirt was above her knees?

I'll agree with the majority of your statement but DEAR LORD, blaming the victim for getting attacked?

By vapore0n on 1/18/2012 2:05:06 PM , Rating: 2
I think the government should step in. Ban usage of headphones while walking. They are as dangerous as using your phone while driving. Or force manufacturers to include a accident detection device, such that the headphones will warn you when you are about to have an accident. Consumers will end up paying for the extra costs in money or quality, but all to protect those dumb enough to now know any better.
No child left behind!!


RE: what!?
By woody1 on 1/18/2012 3:05:49 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, I keep hoping that the government will stop enforcing inspections of meat packing houses, so that all of those people who whine constantly about government interference will sicken and die.

RE: what!?
By Schrag4 on 1/18/2012 3:11:47 PM , Rating: 2
Uh, not quite the same thing. The govt inspects your meat packing plant so you don't kill others with bad food. If people want to walk into trains, though, they're not hurting anyone else really so why would we need govt invervention?

Oh, what's that? Those people didn't want to walk into trains? Well I guess they should have paid attention to where they were going (nobody's fault but their own).

I'm not necessarily picking sides, I just think your analogy is bad.

RE: what!?
By priusone on 1/19/2012 5:58:52 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry Vapor, but you are not looking at the root of the problem. Obviously people can't be trusted to look both ways before crossing a street while listening to music. Obviously drivers can't be trusted not to hit pedestrians who all of a sudden jump out in front of a car while distracted by their music. So, who do you blame? I'd blame musicians. They create these harmonious songs that entrance the listeners, causing people to zone off at the wheel, or step onto asphalt even though there is two tons of plastic and some metal flying towards them. See, get rid of musicians, get rid of the problem!


Link to article
By Just Tom on 1/18/2012 2:18:50 PM , Rating: 2

It has little in common with this article.

RE: Link to article
By woody1 on 1/18/2012 3:11:10 PM , Rating: 2
Really? Looks to me like this article accurately quotes the study. What is your point?

RE: Link to article
By Just Tom on 1/19/2012 10:39:26 AM , Rating: 2
From the article
These accidents were due to both being distracted by their devices and blocking the sounds of the warning systems with their headphones
Did you actually read the study.

From the study
Also, since this is a retrospective case series, neither causation nor correlation can be established between headphone use and pedestrian risk. Such risk can be determined only in virtual environments or large-scale pedestrian observational studies. However, we believe our grading system shows strong circumstantial evidence that headphones may have played a role in most injuries and deaths in the case series.

The authors never state headphone use and increased pedestrian accidents. Nor do they state that pedestrian accidents have tripled in the last 6 years. They do not even state there is a correlation between headphone use and pedestrian accidents. For good reason, pedestrian accidents have fallen during that time frame. In fact a little research shows pedestrian fatalities have fallen significantly since 2004AND pedestrian accidents have also fallen during the same time period. Source ( )

As far as pedestrian fatalities tripling because of headphone use what the study actually said is the number of accidents with reported headphone use has tripled. Those are two enormously different things. The first says more pedestrians are being injured, the second says the articles and data the researchers used had certain keywords - DAP, MP3, earbud, etc - 3 times more often in 2010.

And as far as what my point is: I understand that many people do not have the statistical background or the inclination to competently understand studies such as this one but someone writing for Dailytech should. The study was only 4 pages and it was relatively easy to understand. The misstatements of the finding of this study are sloppy reporting.

It's called -
By Dr of crap on 1/18/2012 12:24:48 PM , Rating: 2
It's called weeding out the stupid.
If you can't detect danger than you get what happens to you.

I'm sorry if that sounds harsh to some but it's true.

We've all heard the traffic reports of a ONE car roll over when the temps are high and there is no precepitation falling, yet this one car managed to get into a rollover accident. Can you say distracted drving?
And I'm guessing maybe sleeping while driving.

RE: It's called -
By Hakuryu on 1/18/2012 1:06:50 PM , Rating: 2

I've been wearing headphones since I was 10 or so (1980), and still to this day wear them as I ride my mountain bike. I ride up and down busy hills to get to parks or areas I like to go to, and the only time I've come near to being hit was when an idiot tried to run a red light to get on the freeway.

I was crossing the freeway entrance ramp, with my headphones on, but apparently I do what stupid people don't - I looked in the directions cars come from to enter the freeway. Slammed on the brakes, went over the handlebars, and nailed a 8/10 landing... only damage some scratching on handlebars.

55% involved a train?
By CBRworm on 1/18/2012 1:18:35 PM , Rating: 2
How can you not hear/feel a train coming? 55% involved trains? That means they walked in front of, or into a train?

RE: 55% involved a train?
By Camikazi on 1/18/2012 1:53:39 PM , Rating: 2
You would be surprised at just how stupid some people can be, actually considering those stats you can see just how stupid they can be :P

Dodgy stats
By BugblatterIII on 1/18/2012 6:09:17 PM , Rating: 2
"injuries to pedestrians who are wearing headphones have tripled in six years"

Because the number of pedestrians wearing headphones has tripled perhaps?

RE: Dodgy stats
By Just Tom on 1/19/2012 11:19:02 AM , Rating: 2
Or since this study was done by analyzing reports perhaps reporters are more likely to mention the wearing of headphones in accidents. Or some combination of the two.

Improper Headline
By Schrag4 on 1/18/2012 12:31:23 PM , Rating: 2
Headphones didn't cause anything. Improper use of headphones , however, did. It's the pedestrian's fault for ignoring everything that's going on around him/her. Putting those headphones on was a choice.

Just like cell phones don't cause car accidents. It's the d-bag behind the wheel that causes the accident. Nobody makes a driver answer a call, or much worse, a text.

Oh, and I love the idea that these devices are so enticing that people can't leave them alone. Way to shift responsibility away from people for their own decisions and actions...

My pet peeve...
By woody1 on 1/18/2012 3:03:24 PM , Rating: 2
Slightly OT, but my own pet peeve is people who run/jog in the street instead of on the sidewalk. I live in an urban neighborhood with lots of traffic. Every day I see people jogging in the street, as if it was their god-given right. I've even seen a mother running along with a baby in a stroller in the street! I keep hoping that the police will start stopping these people and telling them to get on the sidewalk, but it doesn't seem to happen.

Leaving yourself wide open...
By Adam M on 1/18/2012 6:50:14 PM , Rating: 2
Aside from the risk of accidental injury, blocking out the world with head phones also leaves people open to attack. Here in Denver there has been a long string of people being assaulted by groups of men targeting people wearing head phones. Not only does it block out the world around you but those headphones could indicate that you might be carrying something of value, something worth taking.

By MarioJP on 1/19/2012 3:44:47 AM , Rating: 2
No offense to the guy but it clearly shows this guy is all "consumer stuck up" and probably does not think outside the box if one day the Society system fails. First of, the "gym" is not free and secondly why on earth would I want to go to the gym to get exercise if "exercise" is practically what you want to to be for FREE. I have lost count the miles I have walked from point A to point B. Just because one drives does not mean "walking" is overrated. Just the read of that comment makes me cringe for the simple fact that walking is natural and beneficial for your body. Not being forced to go to a gym and that's that.

Did you also know that people who walk/run get more exercise than all the gyms combined?? and guess what it is FREE no membership to join/fees. Not saying don't go to a gym. Its just the gym shouldn't be the only way to exercise (again being sucked into the system to get you to pay) I know you're a better person than that.

And another thing its not just the body that benefits from walking but also your mental state. Why do you think you see runners running around in circles at a park?? or at the beach or at a side walk.

As far as i know Walking/running is the only exercise that truly takes you out of the "noisy/stressful environment" or take a timeout from the system or society.

Walking/running fits in the same category of breathing why because they are both free which=one thing less on your "mind". Its no wonder people these days are dying younger.

sad /:

The sad reality...
By Beenthere on 1/18/2012 3:44:45 PM , Rating: 1
Pedestrian fatalities that result from headphone use will help cleanse the gene pool of braindead zombies.

You can't fix STUPID !
By Beenthere on 1/18/2012 7:28:57 PM , Rating: 1
What a waste of good headphones...

"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain

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