Even with the safety risks of wearing an iPod while running and the the dangers of damaging your hearing, more than half of you told us that you wouldn’t think of working out without your headphones. It can be easy to shrug off the supposed dangers of these devices while running until there is something more concrete to go on. Well, now there is. A new statistic reveals just how terrifying it is to wear headphones outdoors, and it may just motivate you to leave yours at home from now on.
According to new research from the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, serious injuries to pedestrians listening to headphones have increased by 300% in the last six years. What’s worse, 70% of the people in these accidents were killed. That’s a number that’s hard to ignore. Not only do we have a greater chance of getting into an accident while running–or walking or biking–if we’re listening to our iPods, chances are we won’t survive if that happens.
Lead author Richard Lichenstein, associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine says headphones should be considered just as dangerous as texting while driving:
Everybody is aware of the risk of cellphones and texting in automobiles, but I see more and more teens distracted with the latest devices and headphones in their ears. Ever since the iPod and earbuds have become indispensable school or commuting accessories, warnings of hearing loss have been prevalent from doctors, parents, and caretakers alike.
In many of these cases, oncoming cars or trains were sounding horns that the pedestrians couldn’t hear. In other instances, people were just too distracted to notice what was happening around them.
I don’t know about you, but even though I am a devoted music-listener while running, this statistic really bothers me. As it should. Are my tunes really more important than my life? Definitely not.
So tell us what you think. Will this information sway you to leave your iPod at home next time you go running? Or will you continue to take the risk?