Navigation Links
University of Maryland study: Headphone-distracted pedestrians face death, serious injury
Date:1/17/2012

BALTIMORE, MD Jan. 16, 2012 Listen up, pedestrians wearing headphones. Can you hear the trains or cars around you? Many probably can't, especially young adult males. Serious injuries to pedestrians listening to headphones have more than tripled in six years, according to new research from the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore. In many cases, the cars or trains are sounding horns that the pedestrians cannot hear, leading to fatalities in nearly three-quarters of cases.

"Everybody is aware of the risk of cell phones and texting in automobiles, but I see more and more teens distracted with the latest devices and headphones in their ears," says lead author Richard Lichenstein, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and director of pediatric emergency medicine research at the University of Maryland Medical Center. "Unfortunately as we make more and more enticing devices, the risk of injury from distraction and blocking out other sounds increases."

Dr. Lichenstein and his colleagues studied retrospective case reports from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Google News Archives, and Westlaw Campus Research databases for reports published between 2004 and 2011 of pedestrian injuries or fatalities from crashes involving trains or motor vehicles. Cases involving headphone use were extracted and summarized. The research is published online today in the journal Injury Prevention.

Researchers reviewed 116 accident cases from 2004 to 2011 in which injured pedestrians were documented to be using headphones. Seventy percent of the 116 accidents resulted in death to the pedestrian. More than two-thirds of victims were male (68 percent) and under the age of 30 (67 percent). More than half of the moving vehicles involved in the accidents were trains (55 percent), and nearly a third (29 percent) of the vehicles reported sounding some type of warning horn prior to the crash. The increased incidence of accidents over the years closely corresponds to documented rising popularity of auditory technologies with headphones.

"This research is a wonderful example of taking what our physicians see every day in the hospital and applying a broader scientific view to uncover a troubling societal problem that needs greater awareness," says E. Albert Reece, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., vice president for medical affairs at the University of Maryland and John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and dean of the University of Maryland School of Medicine. "I hope that these results will help to significantly reduce incidence of injuries and lead us to a better understanding of how such injuries occur and how we can prevent them."

Dr. Lichenstein and his colleagues noted two likely phenomena associated with these injuries and deaths: distraction and sensory deprivation. The distraction caused by the use of electronic devices has been coined "inattentional blindness," in which multiple stimuli divide the brain's mental resource allocation. In cases of headphone-wearing pedestrian collisions with vehicles, the distraction is intensified by sensory deprivation, in which the pedestrian's ability to hear a train or car warning signal is masked by the sounds produced by the portable electronic device and headphones.

Dr. Lichenstein says the study was initiated after reviewing a tragic pediatric death where a local teen died crossing railroad tracks. The teen was noted to be wearing headphones and did not avoid the oncoming train despite auditory alarms. Further review revealed other cases not only in Maryland but in other states too. "As a pediatric emergency physician and someone interested in safety and prevention, I saw this as an opportunity to -- at minimum -- alert parents of teens and young adults of the potential risk of wearing headphones where moving vehicles are present," he says.


'/>"/>

Contact: Karen Lancaster
klancaster@umm.edu
410-328-8919
University of Maryland Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. University of Virginia Health System Medical Laboratories Selects Sunquest's Specimen Collection Solution
2. Akron Institute of Herzing University Launches Its First Bachelors Degree Programs to Prepare Students for Even Greater Success in Business, Health Care and IT
3. Most pandemic plans in Ontario hospitals have not been tested: Queens University study
4. San Diego State University and BIOCOM Institute Receive $4.95 Million Grant: The BRIDGE Project, Linking Education to Employment in San Diegos Life Sciences Industry
5. Smithsonian Institution, Arizona State University announce education and research partnership
6. Untreated poor vision in elderly linked to dementia, University of Michigan study shows
7. Giarmarco, Mullins & Horton, P.C. President Joseph F. Page to Speak at University of Michigan
8. Arizona State Universitys Decision Theater offers balance to an off-kilter world
9. Forest City Announces Joint Venture with Health Care REIT for University Park Life Science Properties
10. Herzing University Online Launches Master and Bachelor of Science Degrees in Nursing
11. Nurtur Acquires ActivHealth and Wellness by Choice; Gains Exclusive Partnership with Duke University Center for Living
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:7/27/2017)... ... July 28, 2017 , ... ... upcoming episode of the award-winning television series, American Famer, scheduled to broadcast fourth ... , Syngenta is dedicated to helping humanity face its toughest challenge: how to ...
(Date:7/27/2017)... ... July 27, 2017 , ... MEDsys Software Solutions, the ... Care Organizations and Home Care Agencies, has been awarded CIO Applications Magazine’s Top ... solutions to over 1,000 agencies and multiple State Medicaid and Managed Care Programs. ...
(Date:7/27/2017)... ... July 27, 2017 , ... GAFFEY Healthcare, a leading provider ... Clinkscales to Vice President of Revenue Cycle Business Services and Suzanne Dusak to ... chief executive officer (CEO). , Elrene has been with company since Oct 2014 ...
(Date:7/27/2017)... ... 27, 2017 , ... Healthy eating isn’t always easy. Currently, more than 80 percent of Americans ... Americans overeat refined grains and sugar. This trend may help explain why the obesity rate ... are obese. , As a culture, we seem to have food on the brain more. ...
(Date:7/27/2017)... ... July 27, 2017 , ... ... compete to form startup companies around 117 breakthrough inventions from 55 institutions, including ... Institute, and National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering), the United States Army, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:7/11/2017)... of Echenberg Institute, is announcing a new safe and effective at-home VuVa ... other painful pelvic pain conditions such as pelvic floor dysfunction, vulvodynia, vulvar ... ... VuVa ... company, VuVatech LLC, fills a void in the women,s wellness market because ...
(Date:7/10/2017)... , July 10, 2017  US medical equipment ... in 2021, according to Medical Equipment & ... by Freedonia Focus Reports. Continued increases in demand for ... aging of the population and supported by gains in ... equipment and supplies. New product introductions will also drive ...
(Date:7/10/2017)... S.C. , July 10, 2017  BDI ... purchasing and patient support services organization serving specialty ... today the launch of four significant, value-added member ... market insights, better manage reimbursement and improve access ... and factor therapies. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: