Headphones Can Kill You!
March 20, 2011: Man hit and killed by train in Madera, CA.
February 13, 2011: Man with headphones killed by train.
December 17, 2010: Man wearing headphones hit and killed by train.
December 6, 2010: Teen wearing headphones killed by train in western Pennsylvania.
November 26, 2010: Woman killed by train in Seattle.
March 9, 2011: 42-year-old Baldwin Park man struck, killed crossing street
December 7, 2010: Headphones may have distracted killed walker.
May 19, 2008: Helicopter death spurs headphone debate.
It's hard to blame a guy for not getting out of the way of a crashing helicopter ... but it's getting easier and easier to blame the headphones. Also in the news in the last year have been legislative attempts to ban headphone use for pedestrians:
In Arkansas: Lawmaker wants to ban headphones on pedestrians
In Portland: Headphone bill to get public hearing.
There's no doubt all these lists will continue to grow. :(
Your hearing is a marvelous early warning system. It evolved to allow you to focus your attention on munching a banana or picking nits off your buddy while subconsciously monitoring the acoustic world for threats. Well ... it evolved, or God did it. In either case, your hearing is an excellent and important system for keeping you out of danger. With headphones on, you are left without your early warning system, and because it's somewhat sub-conscious, you really don't feel it's loss. If you are wearing dark sunglasses and walk into a dimly lit building, you recognize immediately you need to take your glasses off. But when you put on a pair of headphones you are not nearly so consciously aware of your loss of hearing.
STAY ALERT WHEN WEARING HEADPHONES!!!
Know, and know deeply and habitually that you've got to keep your head on a swivel and pay attention. Be aware of the need to act differently, and make a habit of visually checking around yourself on an ongoing basis. Not just crossing the street, but in parking lots, bike paths, and parks. (Plenty of joggers hit by bicycles, too.)
Don't really know what to say about helicopters. Just be careful, okay?