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Study Scrutinizes Deaths of Pedestrians Wearing Headphones

Distracted walking may sound harmless at first - after all, what Austin resident hasn't occasionally been lost in thought while strolling through downtown? In truth, however, distracted walking contributes to numerous pedestrian accidents.

Often a pedestrian accident can be attributed to the fault of both the driver and the pedestrian. No matter who is at fault when a pedestrian who is wearing headphones is hurt, a recent study sounds a valuable cautionary note.

Marked Increase in Deaths and Injuries for Pedestrians With Headphones

A study recently published in the journal Injury Prevention reveals that reports of pedestrian accidents involving headphones have increased nearly threefold since 2004. Pedestrians who wore headphones appeared more vulnerable to being struck by cars or other vehicles, but the study was not definitive.

Over two-thirds of the injured or killed pedestrians were male, and over two-thirds were under age 30. Almost 90 percent of the accidents happened in urban counties.

Preventing Texas Pedestrian Accidents

Further study is necessary to show a direct link between headphone use and pedestrian accidents, but the current study demonstrates a trend worth heeding.

With Austin's population of music-loving young men; its walking culture; and its festivals like South by Southwest and Austin City Limits, the issue of distracted walking and Texas pedestrian accidents hits home.

Even though pedestrians cannot prevent all accidents, they can protect themselves by paying close attention. The injuries pedestrians can suffer when they are hit by vehicles can be devastating. The more such injuries can be avoided altogether, the better off Austin pedestrians will be.

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