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Why You Shouldn’t Walk or Jog with Earbuds

Using earbuds while walking and jogging can be a great way to motivate yourself and make exercising more enjoyable. Despite the benefits of using earbuds while out and about, it can pose a significant risk to your safety as a pedestrian.

Researchers have found that when pedestrians use technological devices like headphones, they become less aware of their surroundings and more susceptible to close calls and accidents. If you wear earbuds while walking or jogging near traffic, you could be more at risk of accidents because you won’t be able to hear approaching vehicles.

Understanding the dangers of wearing headphones and how they can impact your ability to collect a settlement if you suffer injuries in an accident can help you stay safe when walking near vehicles.

Dangers of Walking and Jogging Near Vehicles

Using earbuds while walking and jogging close to traffic increases the risk of accidents and heightens the danger pedestrians face on the roads. The dangers of wearing earbuds are particularly pronounced in urban areas where pedestrian deaths are most common. Higher speeds increase the severity of injuries suffered by pedestrians hit by vehicles.

Recent research indicates that larger vehicles, such as SUVs and pickups, are more likely to cause pedestrian fatalities when the pedestrian is walking or running alongside the road. These collisions are 51% higher for SUVs and 25% higher for pickups than head-on crashes with crossing pedestrians.

Pedestrians already put themselves at risk of accidents by crossing the street outside of designated areas, such as intersections or crosswalks. However, pedestrians distracted by devices like earbuds may fail to notice potential dangers, increasing their risk of fatal injuries.

How Earbuds Impact Your Safety as a Pedestrian

Wearing earbuds while walking or jogging can heighten your risk of accidents because it impairs your ability to hear audible cues from oncoming vehicles, such as horns or emergency sirens. It can also negatively affect your judgment and focus, worsening the danger when walking near moving vehicles.

Reduction in Hearing

Wearing noise-canceling earbuds can significantly reduce the surrounding noise you hear, with a potential decrease of up to 45 decibels. The use of earbuds can not only reduce your ability to hear approaching vehicles and other hazards but can also negatively affect your behavior.

For example, several studies have found that pedestrians who wear headphones while crossing a street behave less cautiously. This includes not watching for incoming traffic and failing to follow pedestrian signals.

Loss of Focus

When you listen to music at high volumes, you may experience inattentional blindness. This phenomenon occurs when your mind becomes so focused on the sounds you’re listening to that you become less aware of your surroundings and do not watch out for oncoming cars.

Your mind becomes so focused on the audio that it can interfere with your ability to process visual information. Even if you go through the motions of checking for traffic, inattentional blindness can impair your judgment and coordination, causing you to act unsafely or react more slowly to oncoming cars.

How Might Wearing Earbuds Affect Your Injury Settlement

After getting into an accident, you can seek damages against a negligent driver who hurt you. However, if you were wearing earbuds and it affected your actions, you could share some responsibility for the accident.

For instance, you may have unexpectedly walked in front of their vehicle while listening to a podcast or music. Wisconsin law mandates that drivers pay attention while driving, but pedestrians must also avoid suddenly moving into the path of fast-approaching vehicles.

To determine your percentage of fault in the accident, the driver’s insurance company will use the state’s modified comparative negligence law to reduce your compensation award in proportion to your percentage of fault. The insurance company might shift the liability to you for the accident and minimize your compensation.

If you were involved in an accident while wearing earbuds, a Green Bay pedestrian accident lawyer from Brian Hodgkiss Injury Lawyers can protect your right to compensation and negotiate with the insurance company.

By gathering evidence, we can prove that the other party was negligent and dispute the insurer’s attempts to blame you. If the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, your attorney can represent you in court to pursue your claim.

Call Brian Hodkiss Injury Lawyers After Your Pedestrian Accident

Walking and jogging with earbuds can be risky, increasing the likelihood of accidents and negatively impacting your injury settlement in an accident. With Brian Hodgkiss Injury Lawyers by your side, you receive the legal guidance and support you need to minimize your liability when an accident occurs while wearing earbuds.

Contact us today to book your free consultation and explore your legal options.


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