Young men in cities: Take off your headphones

A group of researchers from the University of Maryland and Maryland's state health agency have combed through reports of pedestrian deaths between 2004 and 2011 to try and figure out how dangerous it is to walk around while enjoying your favorite tunes.

The study, published Monday in the journal Injury Prevention, found 116 reported deaths or injuries involving pedestrians who were wearing headphones at the time.

Raking over reports of accidents on Google News and at least three other national data bases, the study's four authors found a dramatic rise in incidents involving headphones during the last six years, with 16 reports in 2004 and 2005 jumping to 47 in 2010 and 2011, according to the Los Angeles Times.

One finding in the study which may come as a rude awakening to music-loving young American men: they make up the vast majority of the victims.

According to the study, 68 percent of the pedestrians involved were males, and 67 percent of them were under the age of 30. A whopping 89 percent of the accidents were in urban counties.

The study's authors are keen to point out that there is not direct causal relationship revealed by their research. They say headphone use may "pose a safety risk to pedestrians, especially in environments with moving vehicles," but further research will have to be conducted to prove a definitive link.


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