Apple’s White Earbuds Could be a Safety Issue

Those iconic white earbuds that come with the purchase of every iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPod may just be endangering your life.

No, they won’t explode in your ears or anything, but a new investigation from the University of Maryland School of Medicine has revealed that people who wear headphones are more vulnerable to accidents and death because they can’t hear horns and other noises that alert them to danger when walking.

I know, it sounds rather obvious. Headphones mean you can’t hear? Really? We needed a study for that? But the significant part of this information is that since 2004, injuries to pedestrians have tripled, thanks to the prevalence of music players and music-playing smartphones. iPods and other music players are making people less aware of their environments.

There were 116 accidents associated with headphone use between 2004 and 2011, and in 29 percent of the cases, trains, cars, and trucks sounded their horns but headphones prevented the pedestrians from hearing the noise. 70 percent of the victims died, and more than two-thirds of them were male and under the age of 30.

This study doesn’t prove that headphones are causing accidents, but it does show a strong correlation between the rising use of headphones and the increase in accidents. If you regularly walk while listening to music, make sure to keep the volume at a reasonable level. It’s unlikely, but you don’t want to become another statistic in this headphone casualty study.

[via Yahoo News]

About Juli: Contact me via Twitter: @julipuli

  • Krashtest Dumby

    Aren’t statistics fun? Three is TRIPLE one! When the numbers are low, percentages look BIG.

    For a better comparison: the CDC says in 2008 there were 4,400 pedestrians killed and 69,000 pedestrians injured, for a total of 73,400. Therefore…

    Suddenly, 116 ear-something deaths+injuries becomes one-tenth of one percent (0.1%) of all pedestrian deaths and injuries. Now, recalculate all those other statistics (e.g. 29% of 0.1% didn’t hear a horn)  and the decimal point is so far to the right this study becomes ludicrous!

    Yet another case of a useless “Save the Humans” cause to be championed and funded by politicians.