Health Opinion

Headphones, earphones, careful pedestrians deaf!

You like to walk with headphones on? Attention! According to an American study recently released, you are more exposed than others to a traffic accident. Less attentive to their environment including noise, victims are often young. And frequency of these collisions is increasing. A phenomenon that is likely to increase further, considering the success of MP3 and other mobile phones …

“The number of traffic accidents involving a pedestrian has tripled in seven years,” says Richard Lichenstein, the University of Maryland Hospital for Children in Baltimore. Men are most affected. Between 2004 and 2011, in fact, they accounted for 68% of victims in the United States. Curiously, the age of 30 also accounted for 68% of victims. So men, and young to boot. This is consistent with another finding of the authors: MP3 and other multimedia devices for listening to music or make phone calls, are increasingly popular with young people.

All of these accidents occurred between a pedestrian and a vehicle, usually in urban areas. In 29% of cases, witnesses reported that the driver had time to report their presence with their horn.

The problem is that users of these players do not hear them. “The use of an MP3 player or a mobile phone is a health hazard for pedestrians traveling in an area road or rail. The main reason is that these devices reduce the ability of the user to understand its environment, “says Richard Lichenstein.

Hands-free driving, dangerous

Moreover, the same conclusion as to the use of headphones by the driver. Especially when the headphones are those of a hands-free kit. If the use of a “bluetooth”, a “hands-free” or “headset” is not expressly prohibited by law, their use “while driving can be suppressed by the forces of order on the basis of Article R.412-6 of the Highway Traffic Act, “said the National Gendarmerie on its website.

This article in fact states that “all drivers must be constantly ready and in position to run comfortably and without delay all its obligations maneuvers. Contravention of the provisions of this article is punishable by a ticket for second class “, or 22 euros. The fine must be paid within 3 days. Result, the National Gendarmerie recommend “strongly their use while driving, because of the risks of devolution and accidents.”

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