Researchers at the Univeristy of Maryland have found that accidents involving pedestrians wearing headphones are on the rise. Between 2004 and 2011, the number of accidents reported nationally rose from 16 reported in 2005-2006 to 47 reported in 2010-2011. In both instances, the majority of victims were males under the age of 30.
Ninety percent of the cases reviewed in the study occurred in urban areas such as New York City and Los Angeles; more than half of them involved trains. The study’s lead author, Dr. Richard Lichenstein, said, “I saw this as an opportunity to — at minimum — alert parents of teens and young adults of the potential risk of wearing headphones where moving vehicles are present.”
Dr. Lichenstein said that he undertook the study after a local teenager was killed by a train while walking on the tracks when wearing headphones. Witnesses said that the driver blasted the horn before hitting the youth, who apparently did not hear the warning.
Source: CTV News, “Accidents involving headphone-wearing pedestrians on the rise“, Jan. 17, 2012.