We have all heard the term “distracted driving” but what about “distracted walking”? In a recent study published earlier this year, researchers report that walking while wearing headphones may not only be dangerous, it may also be deadly. Researchers from the University of Maryland found that over the last 6 years, the number of pedestrians seriously injured or killed while wearing headphones has tripled. Between 2004 and 2011, a total of 116 such injuries was reported in the U.S., including 81 deaths. Of those incidents, approximately 1/3 of the pedestrians were unaware and/or unable to hear any horns or sirens prior to being hit. The study points to distraction and inattention associated with headphone use as the most likely causes. At the very least, the study suggests that it is important to remove your headphones when crossing the street or at designated railroad crossings.
For more details and a link to the study, go to: http://teens.webmd.com/news/20120116/headphones-while-walking-a-dangerous-move