Increase in deaths and injury for pedestrians on headphones

Nearly threefold jump in six years, new study finds

January 16, 2012|By Hanah Cho, The Baltimore Sun

Pedestrians listening to headphones beware.

A new study by University of Maryland researchers released Monday evening found a nearly threefold increase in deaths or injuries in accidents involving pedestrians wearing headphones.

Dr. Richard Lichenstein, the lead researcher and associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and his colleagues studied case reports between 2004 and 2011 of pedestrian injuries or fatalities from crashes involving trains or cars.

Of the 116 cases of pedestrian deaths or injuries involving headphone use, 16 occurred during between 2004 and 2005. Six years later, there were 47 accidents involving pedestrian deaths or injuries involving headphone use.

The study also found more than two thirds of the victims were under the age of 30.

Lichenstein, who is also director of pediatric emergency medicine at the University of Maryland Medical Center, said he sees more and more teens distracted with the devices and headphones in their ears.

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