Cell phones aren’t just distracting drivers these days, but these electronic devices as well as iPods and MP3 players are also distracting pedestrians, causing them to walk right into something dangerous—even a moving motor vehicle. 

Walking Distracted Is Dangerous

Everyone is aware that texting while driving is unsafe, but not everyone has heard that the same can be said for walking while texting.  As it turns out, pedestrians who participate in distracted walking—texting while walking or listening to headphones while walking—are at risk of being involved in a Sarasota pedestrian accident. 

According to a new study published in the peer-reviewed journal Injury Prevention, conducted by the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, injuries and fatalities to pedestrians wearing headphones have more than tripled in the past six years. 

A study in which 116 pedestrian accident cases were reviewed between 2004 and 2011 revealed the following information:

  • In all reviewed pedestrian accident cases, pedestrians were wearing headphones
  • Nearly three-quarters of the pedestrian accidents resulted in fatalities
  • Over two-thirds of the victims were young adult males under the age of 30
  • About one-third of the drivers involved in these accidents sounded a horn prior to hitting a pedestrian
  • Over half of these pedestrian accidents involved trains
  • The majority of these crashes occurred in urban settings

Dr. Richard Lichenstein, the lead author of the study said that “everybody is aware of the risk of cell phones and texting in automobiles, but I see more and more teens distracted with the latest devices and headphones in their ears.” Pedestrians risk “injury from distraction and blocking out other sounds,” he added. 

Dangers of Wearing Headphones While Walking

Researchers indicate that there are two problems with pedestrians wearing headphones:

  1. Inattentional blindness: the brain, distracted by operating or listening to an iPod, is unable to register the potential dangers traffic presents.
  2. Environmental isolation: sounds coming through headphones overpower sounds or even potential warning noises from the road.

Hopefully, this study will show pedestrians how dangerous walking distracted can be, and may be able to save pedestrians from death by headphone accidents on Florida roads. 

If you or your loved one was injured by a distracted driver in a Sarasota pedestrian accident, you may have rights to file a Florida personal injury claim. Talk with a skilled Sarasota accident attorney at Mallard Perez in a free consultation at (888) 409-3805 today.
Damian Mallard, Esq.
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Board Certified Sarasota Personal Injury Attorney