Accidents, injuries and deaths increase with headphone use

Investigators have identified headphones as a significant cause of preventable injury. Research on the causes and preventions of accident, injury and death has shown that distractions of various sorts can increase the odds of being involved in an accident. This, for example, is one of the reasons most states have a law against driving while talking on a cell phone without using a hands-free device. In fact, some accident experts contend that the use of cell phones even while using a headset is still distracting drivers and causes accidents or motor vehicle crashes. However, recent research also shows that pedestrians who walk while wearing headphones are also distracted and are more likely to be involved in an accident or be injured. This is especially true, according to the investigators, when wearing headphones in areas with moving vehicles – such as roadways, parking lots, construction zones or other work areas. Accident types caused by headphone use can include a car accident, bicycle accident, construction accident, slip and fall or even a work injury. No differences were reported in types of headphones or reason the pedestrian was wearing them. Headphones are commonly worn by pedestrians and bicyclists when listening to MP3 or MP4 players, CD players or walkmans and with cell phones. Some safety experts say that better quality headsets are more dangerous due to their ability to block out outside noise. Some accidents and injuries can be avoided if the person can hear a screech, bang or even the approach of a car before a motor vehicle crash. An accident lawyer in New York explains that many accidents are caused by inattention and this remains an important area of research. Read more about this recent research on pedestrian accidents here.

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