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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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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?

"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke

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