Use of iPods Blamed for Increase in Pedestrian Accidents

We live in a world of fast vehicles and the danger to those on foot outside of these vehicles has received a bump with the publication of new research in a study report for ‘Injury Prevention’. The information for the article was obtained by collecting the numbers of fatalities and accidents sustained by those on foot whose hearing and general awareness was likely to have been impaired due to the fact that they were using listening devises at the time of the incident.

The research was undertaken by the University of Maryland and the study looked at incidents for the 7 years from 2004. It was found that of the 116 accidents studied during the period where headphones were being worn by the victim just over 80 people were killed. It was also noted that over the 7 years the occurrence of accidents of this nature showed a threefold increase.

Headphones and Accidents

It is clear that we are seeing a huge growth in the use of headphones. A significant factor is the use of modern cellphones for a variety of auditory input as well from that of designated mobile listening devises. The greater number of accidents, 90 per cent, were recorded in-built up areas and the accident occurred despite some sort of warning being given to the pedestrian involved.

The danger of using these devises when travelling on foot in an environment where it is likely that there are moving machines is well-known. The reduction of attention to dangers at a time when one’s senses should all be concentrating on self-protection and survival in a hostile environment is obvious.

Injury Prone Men

Significantly and not surprisingly it was found that the greatest number of incidents concerned young men of less than 30 years of age. However what may have been unexpected was the fact that over 50 per cent of the accidents had occurred when the pedestrian had been injured or killed by impact from a train.

It was accepted by those involved that as the study involved that these figures which were taken from media reports were likely to have been influenced by the tendency of reports of deaths to receive greater coverage compared with other cases where the victim was injured but survived.

[box type=”note”]More study is also required to investigate other related facts which may have an impact on the accidents. For example the state of mind, general health, drug, alcohol consumption and current intention of those pedestrians concerned. It may well be that the listening through earpieces whilst on foot may not have been the primary cause of the accident but a secondary factor in the injury or death of the victim.[/box]

Claire Al-Aufi

Claire Al-Aufi is a contributing author for Hive Health Media who provides updates on health and fitness news.

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