Safety First: Using earphones on the move

Posted by

image

There is a growing trend of the use of earphones and headphones by individuals in public in ways that are dangerous to themselves and to others. Here are a few examples.

Some months ago, I watched an interstate bus that was full of passengers leave its station and get on the highway. No problem with that. The problem was that the driver had on one of those large headsets that cover both ears completely. It was shocking, to say the least.

Yesterday, at Alausa, Ikeja in Lagos, a motorcyclist sped past me and I observed that he had on a similar headset.

How these individuals who had music blaring into their ears and every other sound cancelled out hoped to be able to respond adequately on the road beats my imagination. As far as I can tell, they were accidents waiting to happen.

But it isn’t only drivers and riders doing this. I have run into individuals with earphones plugged into their ears walking along major roads and crossing streets.

Yesterday evening, Kathleen Ndongmo, a friend of mine narrated how she witnessed a train hit and crush a young man here in Lagos. He had earphones plugged in and was crossing a rail track. That was the end of the track for him.

While it is cool to enjoy our music (or be able to take our calls) wherever we go, we need to think safety first. The use of headphones and earphones in motion in public spaces can be very dangerous.

A few Tips
If possible, use only one earpiece, so that the other ear is free.

Never bump the volume up. Leave it at the lowest possible level, so that you are not drowned in the sound.

Finally, if possible, don’t use headphones while moving in public at all. As a rule, I no longer take calls when driving. Life is too short. Where the call is urgent, I pull over to take it. If not, it can wait.

The sounds around us are important to our safety – vehicle horns, the sound of an oncoming vehicle, a fire alarm, etc. Cutting off those sounds, especially when we are in motion, is a very bad idea. Remember: safety first!

READER COMMENTS

We love to hear from you - your opinions, insights and experiences with smartphones and other gadgets. Be a part of Mobility Arena's active community by sharing a comment below if comments are enabled for this page.

16 comments

  1. As a headphones and earphones wearer of many years, I have found that my eyes compensate for what I may not be able to hear. Having said that, I never take chances when I’m out in public and always unplug one or both when negotiating roads as a pedestrian.

    Wearing headphones sometimes is like walking and texting/IMing – you have to keep your wits about you and be aware of your surroundings.

  2. Same can be said of driving a car with your windows up and the music blaring drowning out every other sound.

  3. For me, using head-phones especially on Lagos roads is a no-no…definitely close to digging your own grave in sound

  4. Mr mobility,am not sure? do you have a plugin that would enable us to share this kind of powerful message via twitter etc.

  5. Jujukemist,

    Yes; there is. At the bottom of each post, right under the author’s bio, you will find buttons for sharing the article on social networks, including Twitter.

  6. Never bump the volume up. Leave it at the lowest possible level, so that you are not drowned in the sound.
    Finally, if possible, don’t use headphones while moving in public at all. As a rule, I no longer take calls when driving. Life is too short. Where the call is urgent, I pull over to take it. If not, it can wait.

    A timely advice indeed, Mr. Mobility. In addition, there is also an added possibility of inducing deafness to one’s ear when listening to very loud Music.

  7. i use my earphones a lot whenever i get the chance. But always careful enough. I am presently on the search for a perfect car dock for my galaxy s2. I have not been able to listen to my collections while driving. Using an earpiece is not an option for me while driving.

  8. @bosun99uk – especially if you have closed back headphones/earphones. You don’t really need the volume especially if you’re on the move.

  9. Why would any sensible person want to be listening to music at the same time navigating busy traffic.

    Attention cannot be focused on more than one item at a time. This is a proven medical fact. When you think you are paying attention to two or more things, what you are actually during is rapidly alternating attention between the things. Example is watching an audio-visual display. Attention subconsciously flows between the visual and the audio so fast you think you are getting the two at the same time. The speed of interchange varies with individuals, interest in the incoming stimulus, strength of the stimulus, and so many other factors. So listening to music or receiving calls while in a traffic driving or trekking, is courting death. Your attention priority is more likely to be directed to the sweet, enjoyable music or that important call than to the warning hoots of an incoming vehicle.

    I love my music but it’s a definite NO when driving or trekking. I listen to music when relaxing.

    A timely and very important post from Mr Mobility himself. Good advice.

  10. I love my music but it’s a definite NO when driving or trekking. I listen to music when relaxing.

    we lay so much emphasis on not making / receiving calls when driving

    listening to mellifluous music while driving can be just as dangerous.

    There is a phone_in daily radio ptogram. People driving call in and I wonder how safe / wise that is…

Have Your Say

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Discussions are moderated for civility