Entries in Headphones (2)


Pedestrian Deaths Linked to Headphones Triples

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(BALTIMORE) -- The number of pedestrians seriously injured or killed while wearing headphones has tripled since 2004, a new study found.

Researchers from Baltimore scoured U.S. news archives and research databases for pedestrian injuries and deaths involving headphones over the last seven years.  They found 116 cases -- most involving men younger than 30 -- rising from 16 in the year ending in 2005 to 47 in the year ending in 2011.

“The risks posed by the use of these devices by drivers are well documented, but little is known about the association between headphone use and pedestrian injury,” the authors reported in the journal Injury Prevention. “Although causal relationships cannot be proven, we speculate on implications for pedestrian safety.”

With smart phones and MP3 players on the rise, more pedestrians are shutting out the sounds that keep them safe on the street.  About 70 percent of the collisions reported were fatal, with more than half of the victims being struck by trains.  In roughly one-third of the cases, horns or sirens sounded before the victim was hit, according to eyewitness reports.

“Two phenomena are likely contributors to the possible association between headphone use and pedestrian injury: distraction and sensory deprivation,” the authors wrote.

Previous studies have found that pedestrians are less cautious and more likely to engage in “risky crossing behavior” when wearing headphones or talking on cellphones.  And a 2010 study found pedestrians using cellphones took longer to cross the street, although the study failed to find the same link with MP3 players.´╗┐

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Headphones OK for Patients with Cardiac Devices

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(SAN FRANCISCO) -- A new study reveals that headphones for MP3 players are safe for patients with implantable cardiac devices, as long as they are kept two centimeters away from the device.

Study author Kok-Swang Tan, a research scientist at Canada's health department, examined the magnetic interference of direct surface contact with 21 different headphone models at varied distances.

Tan observed no magnetic interference with any of the headphones when positioned at a distance of two centimeters or more, or just over a half inch.

However, interference can occur when headphones are positioned less than 2 centimeters away from the heart device, regardless of headphone connectivity, Tan says.

"It doesn't matter whether the music player is on or off, or whether or not the headphones are connected to the player," Tan said.  "The static magnetic field in the headphones can still cause interference."

Tan presented his findings at the Heart Rhythm Society's annual meeting in San Francisco.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐

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