Study Finds an Increase in Number of Injuries to Pedestrians Wearing Headphones

Last Monday, the Injury Prevention Journal published a study titled Headphone Use and Pedestrian Injury and Death in the United States: 2004\2011. According to this new research from the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the University of Maryland Medical Center, serious injuries to headphone wearing pedestrians have more than tripled in the last six years.

The researchers reviewed 116 pedestrian injury cases from 2004 to 2011 where it was documented that the injured pedestrian was wearing headphones at the time of the accident. Based on those cases, researchers determined that:

Seventy percent of the accidents resulted in death to the pedestrian.Over two-thirds of the victims were male and under the age of 30.Over half the accidents involved trains.Nearly one-third of the vehicles reported sounded a horn or warning device before the accident.

Dr. Lichenstein, the lead author of the study, noted that the use of headphones creates a condition known as "inattentional blindness" which basically is "when multiple stimuli divide the brain’s mental resource allocation and the noise from the headphones masks the sounds produced by car horns and other warning devices.

It is always wise to remain aware of your surroundings, both visually and aurally, especially if walking in a high traffic area or near train tracks.

For more information on the contents of this article or any other question you may have, please contact the Zweben Law Group.