Study Shows Sharp Rise in Accidents Involving Tuned-Out Pedestrians

Distracted driving is an issue at the forefront of today's news. We already know about distractions from using smartphones and vehicle connectivity systems, but a new study shows that distractions can be just as dangerous for pedestrians.

Serious injuries to pedestrians listening to headphones while walking have more than tripled in three years, according to a study by the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the University of Maryland Medical Center. Starting in 2004, the universities examined 116 cases in which the walker listening to headphones was hit by a car or train, and they found some strong trends.

The study discovered that 70% of the pedestrians involved in the accident were killed and more than two-thirds of them were males younger than 30. A third of the vehicles sounded their horn before the crash.

The universities want to alert parents and young adults about the dangers of tuning out while walking across intersections. “The increased incidence of accidents over the years closely responds to documented rising popularity of auditory technologies with headphones,” the universities said in a statement.

Study: More Headphone-Wearing Walkers Hit by Cars (USA Today)

By Jennifer Geiger | January 18, 2012 | Comments (6)



well i wear headphones when i take my dog for a three mile walk. Nothing personal. The difference is that at junctions, intersections,etc. i look all ways before crossing. Not being able to hear a car coming is not a loss. Thats why i have eyes.If i was blind, then it would be different.

Dont forget that pedestrians always have the right of way and any accident involving a pedestrian and a car will immediate bring scrutiny to the driver.



pedestrians dont always have the right of way. if they are crossing at an intersection, they have the right of way. they don't have right of way in the middle of the road.


"any accident involving a pedestrian and a car will immediate bring scrutiny to the driver"

Any accident involving a pedestrian and a car will immediately bring serious injury or death to the pedestrian. And the driver might have to take a 4-hour class in safe driving.

Kelly J Drummer

@Allistar, you would rather be crippled and wheelchair bound and be right rather than safe, prudent and firm? Oddly, you being distracted is dangerous to other people beside yourself as well.


I walk on sidewalks when there is one. When there is not, i walk on the grass.

Your an idiot if you think if walk right in the middle of the road.

Drivers are controlling at least a one ton weapon. Accidents involving pedestrians are hardly ever the pedestrians fault.


I'm sorry but tuned-out pedestrians often behave like suiciders. Nothing personal, but the right of ways doesn't cancel watching out when crossing a street. And I'm a very careful driver and respect pedestrians.

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