Entries in Pedestrians (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


Top 10 Most Dangerous Cities for Pedestrians

Hemera Technologies/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Walkers and bikers, stay alert when getting some sun in Orlando, Tampa, and Jacksonville, Fla., for they have just been named some of the most dangerous places for pedestrians in the nation.

A pedestrian is hit by a car or truck every seven minutes, resulting in more than 47,700 deaths and 688,000 injuries between 2000 and 2009, according to a study released by Transportation for America.

"The majority of these deaths share a common thread: they occurred along 'arterial' roadways that were dangerous by design, streets engineered for speeding traffic with little or no provision for people on foot, in wheelchairs or on bicycles," the group said in its report.

Nationwide, pedestrians account for more than 12 percent of total deaths in traffic accidents, and in 15 of the country's largest cities, fatalities have actually increased as deaths of people inside of the car during an accident have fallen over the same period.

The report by Transportation for America found that roadways in Florida and California -- among other states -- have some of the most dangerous streets, many of which are engineered for speeding traffic. Many of the roads simply don't account for the rising number of people walking to work or walking along busy streets for exercise.

Transportation for America, a non-profit that works for transportation reform, used census data to highlight the cities with the highest risks for pedestrians. It urges states to spend more money to improve on infrastructure and focus more on safety.

The Worst Cities for Pedestrians

  1. Orlando/Kissimmee, Florida
  2. Tampa/St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Florida
  3. Jacksonville, Florida
  4. Miami/Fort Lauderdale/Pompano, Florida
  5. Riverside/San Bernardino/Ontario, California
  6. Las Vegas/Paradise, Nevada
  7. Memphis, Tennessee
  8. Phoenix/Mesa/Scottsdale, Arizona
  9. Houston/Sugar Land/Baytown, Texas
  10. Dallas/Fort Worth/Arlington, Texas

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio