Ounce of Prevention

Headlines that Kill…

The headline yesterday bore a frightening revelation: “Headphones kill: Pedestrian deaths, injuries tripled in seven years“. Killer headphones?! How is it that the little ear buds that deliver the sweet sounds of my “Just Neil Diamond” play list from my phone or other device will factor in my inevitable doom? Continuing to read, the article began to clarify rather than simply scare. According to a recent study of pedestrian deaths and injuries in the US, a growing number can be attributed to the use of headphones. Hmmm, the use of headphones you say? Now we are getting somewhere. While the headline points to the murderous nature of headphones, the content of the story, on the other hand, illustrates the more realistic concern: the increased distraction of the user of the headphones and the devices they are connected to. When we get down to it we can’t really lay the blame of the deaths and injuries on our shiny gadgets, can we? Did I miss the part where Stephen King’s “Christine” became non-fiction? No, we live in a world full of interfaces with the environment, each other, and the rules we have created. Distractions abound and we see this everyday in pedestrian and driver behaviour. Every person walking and driving has a role to play in reducing their own distractions in order to make good and healthy decisions for themselves and those around them. While we are at it, maybe we could reduce the distracting headlines as well…

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Injury Prevention Team