Making It Without the Music

by Terry Bryant

Dangerous music

Is music dangerous?

Outdoor exercise holds a subtle danger—music. Although many outdoor exercise enthusiasts get motivation from music, they may not realize that the same music may prevent them from avoiding a preventable collision with a car or another pedestrian.

Music wired through headphones prevents a pedestrian’s ability to hear cues that indicate danger, such as sirens, a car horn, or bicycle whizzing by. Here are some points of advice to keep pedestrians who are not willing to turn off the music safer while they exercise:

  • Decrease the volume—before you take off, listen to see whether you can hear oncoming traffic over your music. Do not play your music so loud that it blocks other sounds.
  • Stop at all intersections—do not risk crossing in front of traffic, regardless of whether you have a green light. Instead, treat each intersection like a stop sign and look both ways before crossing the street. Drivers may not see you, and you may not hear their vehicles.
  • Announce when you are passing—a simple, “on your left!” when passing another pedestrian or bicyclist can prevent sudden movement into your path and prevent a literal head on collision.

If you or someone you know has been involved in an auto accident, contact a board certified personal injury attorney to evaluate your potential claim.