The rates of distracted driving are climbing, and a national debate has ensued over what to do about the problem. A Maryland doctor has conducted a study to look at another problem with distraction: distracted walking. Pedestrians walking with headphones in their ears face an increased risk of getting in an accident, according to the new study.
The number of accidents involving pedestrians wearing headphones has tripled in the last six years, according to a new study published in the journal Injury Prevention. Dr. Richard Lichenstein, associate professor of pediatrics at the University Of Maryland School Of Medicine, is the lead author of the study.
Discussing the need for the study, he said, “As a pediatric emergency physician and someone interested in safety and prevention I saw this as an opportunity to – at a minimum – alert parents of teens and young adults of the potential risk of wearing headphones where moving vehicles are present.”
The study found that the majority of incidents involved young men under the age of 30 and occurred in urban counties. Over half of the crashes were with trains, not automobiles, and many of them sounded their horns before the crash.
It appears as though distracted movement, whether it be driving or walking, is far more dangerous than we might have assumed.
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