Wearing headphones while driving, running or even cycling, can slow down your reaction time by as much as 4.2 seconds.
Did that statement startle you? It should!
“Sound plays a vital role in our ability to understand our environment. We very often hear important events happening around us before we see them. While headphones can be beneficial to us in many circumstances, on the road they can block out important sound cues, meaning we might not be able to perceive nearby vehicles or road users, potentially putting them, and us, in danger,” explains Dr Maria Chait, professor of auditory cognitive neuroscience, University College London.
“A Ford-commissioned research investigated the road use and listening habits of more than 2 000 people from France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK, asking about their attitudes to risk while driving, cycling, walking or riding a scooter.”
Fifty-six percent of participants reported a near miss or an accident, 27 percent were wearing headphones at the time.
“With this research we are highlighting an important road safety issue that often goes under the radar. Accessible to anybody with a smartphone, we hope that our Share The Road: Safe and Sound experience will raise awareness of the reality of wearing headphones while on the move,” concludes Emmanuel Lubrani, ‘Share The Road’, Ford of Europe.