Headphone Safety and #OneEarOut

I feel compelled to do this about once a year...if it just save one person it's worth it. As I read my headphone news feeds it seem like I read of someone killed by walking on train tracks wearing headphones about once a week. Often it's a youngster. It seems so avoidable: Just don't walk on train tracks...period. But in a number of cases—one below—someone dashes across the tracks to catch a bus or talk to a friend and the headphones prevent hearing the oncoming train.

To make matters worse, getting hit by a train with headphones on is sensational enough to make the news; how many more were killed in traffic as ordinary pedestrians? 10 times? 100 times? It's not as newsworthy...but it's there, no doubt.

Case in point: Here's list of train/headphone accidents (mostly deaths) since the beginning of the year I found with a quick Google news search:

So please, don't walk on the tracks at all, and if you are near by or walking in heavily trafficked areas at least pull one earpiece out. Seriously, show you kids the #OneEarOut website and their Angels page honoring children killed with headphones on by reminding other children of the danger.

Headphones damp situational awareness significantly; inattentional blindness will kill you without warning. Please, please be careful out there.

castleofargh's picture

it's important to keep safety in mind indeed. about train tracks or any roads for that matter, one should always assume something is coming, and always think it will not stop. always! people shouldn't leave their lives in the hand of some faulty signal or the dumb assumption that a track is unused just because it looks crappy.
for the anecdote, another group of people who die on train tracks from time to time are photographers and their models... the cause of death is the same, focusing too much on something else while on the tracks. but of course staying on he tracks on purpose is the real problem in this case.

now from a statistical point of view, I don't believe train related incidents with headphones mean anything(sorry ^_^). because it's very specific and conditional to the location. basically, dangerous places are still dangerous without headphones. but also because of all the people who go hug a train on purpose every year and the legal difficulties to say which are which sometimes.

cellphone users nowadays are probably way more dangerous for themselves and others than headphone users, but everybody can certainly learn to appreciate the value of staying alive thanks to taking crossing a road seriously for 5 seconds.

OneEarOut's picture

Thank you so much for sharing our message and including us in your blog post! I was surprised at the number of unfortunate incidents this year and will start researching the accidents so that I can add them to our #OneEarOut Angel list. Please visit our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages as well as a news story we did last week: http://denver.cbslocal.com/2017/05/25/one-ear-out-amanda-kirchner-earpho...

Impulse's picture

But it's obviously not. I don't even like wearing IEM when I'm out walking outside, seems way too isolating...

Koss' open KSC75 clip ons are ideal for situational awareness sometimes, my V-Moda XS is as isolating as I'll go on the streets (not very, specially with glasses breaking the seal of the closed cups).

wbh's picture

"...that'll learn ya!"

jacobe389's picture
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Peragulator's picture

We ask people not to drink/text and drive. They still do it. Unfortunately this trend will continue.

LeonardPriebe's picture

Thank you for sharing this news. I believe it is important to be at all times careful when out in streets. As much as possible turn off devices or stop looking at your cellphone to avoid accident. For instances like wireless headphones, there are headphones that has a noise cancelling feature so it abrupt any noise from the outside. You may not be able to hear the world around and get bump by a car when passing by the streets. FYI: here are the certified noise cancelling cellphones http://www.wirelessheadphones.com/noise-cancelling/.

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