Increased Headphone Use Resulting in More Accidents?

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This topic contains 21 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by  vKAOSv 7 years, 9 months ago.

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  • #106129

    Just read this article that says pedestrian injuries and deaths involving headphone-wearers tripled in the last six years according to one study: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-0 … finds.html

    I’m guessing there’s a similar trend among injuries to cyclists, particularly those who ride on the road. It would be even more interesting to study how headphone use on the trail affects injury rates.

    Last week I wore headphones on a road ride for the first time in years but this has me rethinking whether it’s worth the risk. On the trail it’s probably less of an issue (fewer moving objects around you) but I dunno.

    Anybody stop wearing headphones on the bike because they had a close call or got in an accident?

  • #106130

    I once wear them, but stoped it, bc it was to much of a distraction. Today I either follow the music or the trail

  • #106131

    I wear headphones when riding on a paved bike path. If I happen on to surface streets I pop the left ear out so I can hear traffic.

    For MTB I gave up listening to music a long time ago because I found it to be very distracting.

    My current bike commute to work is all streets so I don’t bother with the headphones at all.

    And no, I never had a close call or anything … that I know of anyway … maybe I did and just didn’t hear it? 😆

  • #106132

    I found wearing the headphones in the early morning ride to work to help for some reason,and I say some reason because those rides to work was the first time I found myself craving a somthing extra.I think it was because it was early enough in the morning that there was’nt much traffic to watch for.I don’t think I could ever wear headphone on the trail,just love the sound of tire on dirt and whatever wild life I could possibly hear.One time at Red Rocks Math/Wint a fire truck went down hwy 26 and all the coyotes startted to howl,it was Awsome to hear…

  • #106133

    I only ever wear headphone on really long rides because my mind will start to wander and I’ll get distracted and find myself standing out in the woods thinking about something…

    Don’t think I’d ever wear them on the roads, though. I’d want to know what the traffic is doing around me.

  • #106134

    The voices in my head started up a band and I jam to the music crankin’ in the brain they’re actually pretty good!! (album due out next month)…. 😆
    Seriously I’m off and on with headphones I get sick of the ear buds poppin out going over rough terrain, or the cord getting caught on something ripping them out of the ear hole plus I try to listen to odd noises with my ride to ensure it’s not falling apart 1/2 way down a steep hill!!! (it’s a paranoia thing)
    Then again some bad ass, hard core, blood pumping music is a bonus when I start to "run out of gas" So I guess just turn down the volume and you’ll be good

  • #106135

    Oddly, I wore headphones when I was riding on the road but after trying it a couple times, I stopped wearing them on the trail. The whole reason I stopped was because I felt like I was being incredibly impolite to the people I came across on the trails(I could see them saying things but had no idea what 😀 ) and not because of any safety issue.

  • #106136

    I listen to my IPOD when I’m riding on familiar trails in my area. Usually only weekdays when there aren’t many people around. Kinda like to hear when someone is coming up behind me..
    On new trails, I want to concentrate a little more but nothing beats ripping with some Rage Against The Machine, Drowning Pool, etc.., or cruising to Allman bro’s! Before I know it, I’m at 20 miles or so!!

  • #106137

    I don’t do the earphone thing. Riding in the woods is relaxing and it is cool to hear and see a dear running through the woods. Can’t hear it don’t see it. If you are riding on popular trails and can’t hear the faster rider coming from behind you can’t provide a way around or speed up or let them pass. I feel that ear buds are cool but riding with them is dangerous and rude to other riders, runners, etc. If you see a fat guy riding and singing Tied to the Whipping Post it might be me, 😄 Later,

  • #106138

    I ride with headphones and think it sharpens your perception of what is going on around you, double check everything, do not take anything for granted, maybe not for heavy traffic.

  • #106139
    "Spokewrench" wrote

    I ride with headphones and think it sharpens your perception of what is going on around you, double check everything, do not take anything for granted, maybe not for heavy traffic.

    You’re kidding right? How could it possibly ‘sharpen your perception’ when it essentially muffles all other noise?

    Back to Trek7k’s post, I wonder how much of that increase had to do with the headphones themselves vs. people staring at their smart phone and not paying attention?

    As an example:
    The office I work in consists of two buildings. There’s a nice walkway between them, and a big fountain/pool. The edge of the pool is about 15” tall. Last year a guy walked right into it and fell in. Right in the middle of a 10ft wide pool. There was even an outline of him on the algae on the bottom, which was hilarious. He was looking at his phone, not where he was going.

  • #106140

    Ha! Yeah, maybe headphones "sharpen perception" by forcing you to use your other senses more to compensate but overall I think you’re worse off.

  • #106141
    "dgaddis" wrote

    You’re kidding right? How could it possibly ‘sharpen your perception’ when it essentially muffles all other noise?

    We were all thinking it…thanks for saying it. 😃

    It’s just the opposite for me, I get distracted, and then I get in trouble.

  • #106142
    "dgaddis" wrote

    As an example:
    The office I work in consists of two buildings. There’s a nice walkway between them, and a big fountain/pool. The edge of the pool is about 15” tall. Last year a guy walked right into it and fell in. Right in the middle of a 10ft wide pool. There was even an outline of him on the algae on the bottom, which was hilarious. He was looking at his phone, not where he was going.

    [flash=425,350:p5d1vyef]http://www.youtube.com/v/mg11glsBW4Y[/flash:p5d1vyef]

  • #106143
    "schwim" wrote

    [quote="dgaddis":3671ql2o]As an example:
    The office I work in consists of two buildings. There’s a nice walkway between them, and a big fountain/pool. The edge of the pool is about 15” tall. Last year a guy walked right into it and fell in. Right in the middle of a 10ft wide pool. There was even an outline of him on the algae on the bottom, which was hilarious. He was looking at his phone, not where he was going.

    [flash=425,350:3671ql2o]http://www.youtube.com/v/mg11glsBW4Y[/flash:3671ql2o][/quote:3671ql2o]

    Haha yep totally saw that before.

  • #106144

    Maybe some one in headbuds can use their "sharpened perception" to detect the handle bar sticking out of their a** when they pull out in front of a faster rider at a trail junction. Just saying. 😄 Later,

  • #106145
    "maddslacker" wrote

    [quote="dgaddis":32bat8tj]You’re kidding right? How could it possibly ‘sharpen your perception’ when it essentially muffles all other noise?

    [/quote:32bat8tj]
    We were all thinking it…thanks for saying it. 😃

    I knew I would get bashed for the post, thanks, but I dont ride in traffic nor downtown mahatten. I find that with the head set on I am MORE aware of my surroundings, relying on my ears just doesent get the job done. My eyes out power my ears two to one, and I will ride much longer with music in my ears. Oh! can you hear another bike rider approaching from the rear? Didnt think so, that is the only surprise I would encounter. I rode road bikes for years and the traffic and the lack of bike lanes forced me to ride in the woods and not on roads ment for cars and trucks.

  • #106146

    Sorry I

  • #106147
    "Spokewrench" wrote

    [quote="maddslacker":1c7dtc15][quote="dgaddis":1c7dtc15]You’re kidding right? How could it possibly ‘sharpen your perception’ when it essentially muffles all other noise?

    [/quote:1c7dtc15]
    We were all thinking it…thanks for saying it. 😃

    I knew I would get bashed for the post, thanks, but I dont ride in traffic nor downtown mahatten. I find that with the head set on I am MORE aware of my surroundings, relying on my ears just doesent get the job done. My eyes out power my ears two to one, and I will ride much longer with music in my ears. Oh! can you hear another bike rider approaching from the rear? Didnt think so, that is the only surprise I would encounter. I rode road bikes for years and the traffic and the lack of bike lanes forced me to ride in the woods and not on roads ment for cars and trucks.[/quote:1c7dtc15]

    Not having headphones help identify any strange noises coming from the bike. I’ve heard that my tire was low on air before I felt it in the handling.

    I’ve also heard bikers approaching me before I saw them (in the woods and all that jazz.) That gave me extra time to pick a spot to move over before we met at the bottom of the valley. They got to keep their momentum on the uphill part and so did I…and it gave me a two-minute breather 😄

  • #106148

    Since I mainly ride alone I like my tunes real low volume to keep me going.

  • #106149

    If I do listen to music while riding, I only use one earbud and it is not very loud.

  • #106150

    I just put my iPhone in my jersey pocket and use the speaker… It’s not too loud so I can still hear other riders on the trails.

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