Wearing Headphones While Walking? Bad Idea

Reports of accidents, deaths tripled from 2004 to 2011
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 17, 2012 12:49 PM CST
Updated Jan 21, 2012 7:00 PM CST
Wearing headphones while walking can be dangerous.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Next time you slip on your headphones before walking to work, consider this: It could kill you. Last year, 47 pedestrians were killed or badly injured while wearing headphones—that's nearly three times the 16 who experienced the same fate in 2004, AFP notes. In total, 116 headphone-wearers were killed or hurt from 2004 to 2011, according to a study published today in the British journal Injury Prevention.

The problem is "inattentional blindness," a distraction that makes your brain less likely to respond to external stimuli. More than half of the victims were hit by trains. Most of the victims—68%—were male, and 67% were under 30. (Read more headphones stories.)

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