It’s incredibly common to see people wearing headphones, earbuds or other Bluetooth devices when they’re walking around Chicago. Some are businessmen on conference calls, some are college students listening to podcasts and some are just people listening to a new album while walking to a friend’s house.
As natural and normal as this feels, it is important to remember that there are some serious risks to listening to any type of media when you walk. This is especially true in high-traffic areas.
The rise of inattention blindness
Over the years, studies have found an increase in injuries and deaths among pedestrians and runners. The reason, they say, is something called inattention blindness. This is when a person is “blind” to the events happening around them because they’re so focused on something else. In this case, it refers to the media they’re listening to while walking.
Not only is the media a distraction so that you don’t pay close attention, but it also drowns out the sounds of traffic around you. Hearing a car turning through the crosswalk could save your life if that driver doesn’t see you, but you can’t hear them with the music turned up to nine.
This issue has really been on the rise since the invention of smartphones. Most people always have access to all of the songs, podcasts and audiobooks they could ever want. This leads to higher inattention rates and higher accident rates.
You can seek compensation
One important thing to note, though, is that listening to your headphones doesn’t mean you’re at fault when that driver makes a mistake and hits you. If you’re injured, you can still seek compensation.