Experts: Wearing Headphones in Traffic as Dangerous as Unbuckled Seatbelt ({{commentsTotal}})

A pedestrian traversing the streets while wearing headphones is deemed dangerous due to the fact that the only source of information about the surroundings is left solely on visual perception, says a traffic safety organization.

As a direct result of several accidents regarding pedestrians with headphones crossing railroads, the organization Operation Lifesaver Estonia has put into effect an awareness campaign, which urges people to dismount their bikes and take off their headphones before crossing railroads.

The chairman of Operation Lifesaver Estonia, Tamo Vahemets, said accidents on the railroad are caused by several factors including a feeling of safety, which manifests itself by neglecting basic safety truths – people instinctively trust their previous safe encounters with crossings, therefore many pedestrians fail to take proper safety precautions before making their way over the railroads. Today this amounts to an even bigger concern due to new trains, which are remarkably more silent than the previous models.

Vahemets said this issue does not only relate to the railroads but is a wider and more growing problem. Headphones are a symbol of an active lifestyle, he said, meaning that this sort of information impediment about the surrounding traffic could potentially result as an accident at every crossing.