These days, it seems like everyone has a smartphone in their pocket at all times. This means nearly unlimited access to music, audiobooks, podcasts and other types of entertainment.
For this reason, pedestrians often wear headphones when walking near the road. Someone who has a twenty-minute walk to work may see it as a good way to pass the time. Someone who is walking their dog may want to relax with music or a good book. Certainly, the allure is clear. But is it safe?
Headphones are actually a major distraction
The truth is that headphones are a serious distraction. Runners are often warned about this, but it’s true for all pedestrians. When you’re listening to something and you get caught up in it, you’re less likely to notice what’s happening around you. When what’s happening is that someone is running a red light, you could be struck as you cross the road.
Additionally, headphones obviously make it harder to hear. Even if you’re not distracted and you are paying attention, you’re still somewhat cut off from the world while wearing them. You may not notice something that you definitely would have noticed otherwise — like a car approaching.
Have you been injured?
None of this is to say that getting injured is your fault. It’s not illegal to listen to headphones. If someone else makes a mistake — like running a red light — that’s still their fault, even though you couldn’t hear them coming. As long as you adhere to the laws, you’re not to blame. If do you get injured, you may be able to seek compensation for medical bills and related losses. An attorney can help protect your interests.