Report links headphones with pedestrian casualties

11.22 | 18 January 2012 |

A new report from the USA has concluded that the use of headphones with handheld devices may pose a safety risk to pedestrians when they are around moving vehicles.

The report, ‘Headphone use and pedestrian injury and death in the United States: 2004 – 2011’, identifies and describes ‘pedestrian–vehicle crashes’ in which the pedestrian was using headphones. The report found that116 headphone-wearing pedestrians were killed or injured in the USA between 2004 and 2011.

68% of the victims were male and 67% under 30-years-old. The majority of vehicles involved in the crashes were trains (55%), and 89% of the cases occurred in urban areas. 74% of the case reports stated that the victim was wearing headphones at the time of the crash, and 29% said there was a warning sound before the crash.

The report, prepared by researchers from the University of Maryland and Office of Health Studies in Baltimore, suggests that further research is needed to determine if and how headphone use compromises pedestrian safety.

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