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Posted by on Mar 5, 2012 in Science & Technology, Society | 7 comments

Head­phones: More Pow­er­ful Than A Loco­mo­tive

A Mary­land pedi­a­tri­cian found that seri­ous injuries to pedes­tri­ans wear­ing head­phones have more than tripled in the last six years. Neil Wagner:

Look­ing over case reports of pedes­tri­an injuries or fatal­i­ties involv­ing mov­ing vehi­cles between 2004 and 2011, the doc­tor and his team found 116 where the vic­tim was using head­phones. Sev­en­ty per­cent of these acci­dents were fatal. More than two-thirds of the vic­tims were male (68 per­cent) and under the age of 30 (67 per­cent). Over half of the vehi­cles involved in the acci­dents were trains (55 per­cent), and near­ly a third (29 per­cent) report­ed sound­ing a horn prior to the crash.

While this isn’t a large num­ber of cases, they may only be the tip of the ice­berg. These were report­ed cases where the pedes­tri­an was known to be wear­ing head­phones at the time of the acci­dent. Many more may go unre­port­ed. Train crash­es do have a way of oblit­er­at­ing the evi­dence.

The study is published in Injury Prevention.

Note: My headline comes straight from Wagner’s post.