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New Study Shows Headphones Have Greatly Increased Pedestrian Injuries

Published on Jan 19, 2012 at 8:32 am in Pedestrian Accident.

Dailytech.com reports that a study conducted by the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore shows the dangers of wearing headphones while traveling on two feet. The lead author of the study, Richard Lichenstein, M.D., determined that headphones have caused pedestrians injuries to triple over the last six years. The research team conducted the study by reviewing cases where headphones were involved in serious pedestrian accidents, which either caused injury or death, from car or train crashes from 2004-2011 reports from various organizations and internet databases, including the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The results of the study revealed:

  • 68% of pedestrians either injured or killed due to wearing headphones were male, and 67% were under the age of 30.
  • In 55% of the headphone-related accidents, the vehicle involved was a train.
  • 29% of the vehicles involved in the accidents used a horn, or other audible warning system, to let the pedestrian know they were there.
  • Almost three-quarters of the headphone-related injuries were fatal.


The accidents reviewed in the study were caused by both pedestrians being distracted by their devices and the sounds of warning systems being blocked, which Lichenstein states is sensory deprivation. The risk of distracted driving and using a cell phone while behind the wheel are well documented, but he notices that more and more teens are increasingly becoming distracted with the latest new devices and their headphones. Lichenstein feels the risk of injury sharply increases from distraction and blocking out other sounds.

This study highlights the dangers of being distracted and tuned out while walking, but pedestrians face a number of other dangers while walking, such as distracted drivers not paying attention to things around them or motorists not obeying traffic laws. For any Kentucky resident who has been injured in a pedestrian accident caused by the negligence of another party, an experienced Kentucky pedestrian accident lawyer can help you obtain compensation for your injuries and hold any at-fault parties legally responsible.

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Tad Thomas

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Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

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