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Key statistics about pedestrians, headphones and accidents

When you walk to the gym in the morning, do you put your headphones on and listen to some music to wake yourself up? What about when you're biking to work, walking to the deli on your lunch break or just heading to a friend's house?

You've probably done at least one of these things in the last year, if not more. With music on phones or MP3 players, it's very common for people to listen when they're walking to break up the boredom. However, it's not without risk, as pedestrians with headphones on may increase their chances of being hit by motor vehicles. Below are four key stats you should know:

-- According to one study, a full 68 percent of pedestrians who were killed or injured in accidents while wearing headphones were men.

-- Sixty-seven percent of those individuals were under 30 years old.

-- In about 70 percent of these accidents, the individual who was hit passed away.

-- The vast majority of the accidents -- a full 90 percent -- happened in cities.

However, perhaps the most important stat of all is that a warning was sounded in just 29 percent of these cases. It's easy to assume that the pedestrians didn't pay enough attention and caused the accidents, but that stat shows that most of them occurred with no warning whatsoever.

Additionally, pedestrians are not obligated to avoid careless, negligent drivers. They have a right to walk on sidewalks, through crosswalks and in parking lots without worrying about being struck -- whether or not they're wearing headphones. So, while headphones may increase the risks, the blame could still fall on the drivers, and those who are seriously injured need to know if they can seek compensation.

Source: Live Science, "Pedestrians & Headphones Don't Mix (Infographic)," accessed April 28, 2017

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