Do you like to use headphones and an MP3 player?  This seems like required equipment for 21st century pedestrians. Consider the walking commuter. Is there a better way to drown out the sounds of the urban jungle than to plug in a set of headphones and crank up the volume? Consider the athlete. What better way to jumpstart human adrenaline than with musical motivation?  It’s becoming more and more prevalent for pedestrians to enjoy, and rely upon, their listening devices to carry them through the day.  However, like most Americans, few Virginians stop to think about the dangers present when wearing headphones among a swarm of motorized vehicles.  It’s risky business that may even prove deadly.

History Triples Itself
In January of 2012, a study investigating pedestrian-related motor vehicle collisions, reported that serious injuries to pedestrians, who are wearing headphones while in close proximity to motorized vehicles, have more than tripled over the past six years.

Findings from this study also include data supporting the following:


  • 55% of accidents involved trains hitting pedestrians
  • 68% of injured victims were male
  • 67% were under 30 years old
  • 89% of crashes were in urban counties
  • 74% of the accident reports specifically note that pedestrians were wearing headphones when the crash took place
  • 29% indicated that a warning horn was sounded before the crash

This condition of being distracted, due to the use of an electronic device, has a scientific name.  Researchers call it inattentional blindness.  As the name suggests, an electronic device delivers both visual and audible distractions that disrupt the pedestrian from paying attention.  Sounds and images bombard the human brain rendering it disoriented and slow to respond to impending dangers.  As the use of electronic devices becomes more attractive, and widespread, the increasing risks of accidents, injuries, and even deaths, to pedestrians who are wearing headphones while in close proximity to motorized vehicles, will continue to soar.

Who’s Listening?
A vast number of pedestrians in Virginia enjoy the companionship of MP3 devices every day. However, with scientific studies reporting this steep rise in severe pedestrian injuries, it shouts a sobering wake-up call to us all. We can enjoy the conveniences that electronic devices bring to living, but need to avoid the use of headphones when walking near motorized vehicles.  It could mean the difference between living an injury-free life or the real possibility of death from distraction.

If you or someone you know has sustained an injury from a motor vehicle-related accident, call the Virginia law offices of Dulaney, Lauer and Thomas. Our Virginia pedestrian accident attorneys and counselors both listen to and fight hard for the rights of accident victims.   

With offices located in Warrenton, and Culpeper, Virginia, your appointment for a free consultation is more convenient than you might have imagined. Please call and schedule today.  


Richard A. Dulaney
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Richard has over 30 years of experience in personal injury law.

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