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iPod Road Casualties Treble !

From The Daily Telegraph - Jan 2012

The number of people suffering serious injury while wearing headphones for gadgets such as iPods has tripled in six years, according to a study.

Experts found a dramatic rise in injuries to people wearing headphones while walking in the street, particularly among teenagers, men and young adults.

The resarchers analysed US data from 2004 to 2011 but excluded cases involving mobile phones, including those that were hands free.

During the study period, there were a total of 116 reports of death or injury of pedestrians wearing headphones, increasing from 16 in 2004-5 to 47 in 2010-11.

Most victims were men (68%) and under the age of 30 (67%), with around one in 10 of all cases (9%) under the age of 18, according to the research published online in Injury Prevention.

About 89% of the cases occurred in urban areas and more than half (55%) of the victims were struck by trains.

Eighty-one of the 116 collisions (70%) resulted in the person dying. Many cases (29%) mentioned that a warning – such as a horn or siren – was sounded before the crash.

The researchers said: "The use of headphones with hand-held devices may pose a safety risk to pedestrians, especially in environments with moving vehicles. Further research is needed to determine if and how headphone use compromises pedestrian safety.”

Previous studies have shown that people wearing headphones - or being distracted by talking on a mobile phone – can suffer "inattentional blindness".


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