Accidents due to listening to music

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29/11/2011 at 11:01

Out of interest, has anyone witnessed, or heard of, accidents or mishaps in running events that were caused by a runner wearing headphones?

 I'm honestly not trying to stir up a well worn argument: this is for academic interest really.

29/11/2011 at 13:27
Brother in law was marshalling a marathon and was having to direct people around a 90 degree bend. A girl wanted to drop out, so they were trying to sort this out and direct the runners.

One chap came along with headphones on, took no notice of the marshalls and went straight on. No amount of hollering could get his attention - the other marshal chased after him yelling but could not catch up. As the race crossed over the Thames at that point, with the next bridge several miles downstream, goodness knows where this chap ended up.

29/11/2011 at 13:36
Yep...loads
29/11/2011 at 13:48
No. It never happens. I have been cut up by people who aren't listening to music, and by idiot cyclists who ride on pavements, though.
29/11/2011 at 14:17
Intermanaut wrote (see)
No.  It never happens. 


This is correct.  I am actually God and therefore omniscient, and I can confirm that there has never been a single incident in a running race where an accident has been caused by someone listening to music.  Also, dogs never fart.  It's an illusion.

Dan Ellingworth wrote (see)

 I'm honestly not trying to stir up a well worn argument.

D'oh!  Never mind, eh.

29/11/2011 at 14:20

it's amazing how many people who wear headphones have stories to tell about non-headphone wearers they've almost almost crashed into.., sorry been cut up by.  

probably due to the fact they were obvlivious to their presence till the last moment.

29/11/2011 at 14:41
@skotty - did you hear the "Whoosh!" as that all went over your head?
29/11/2011 at 15:11
29/11/2011 at 17:00

I'd bet it happens alot, however in the (only few) years I have been running, I've neither experienced it nor seen it. I have in the past run both inside (treadmill) and outside (park and streets in London).

I have to say I tend to keep my wits about me and despite having loud banging music on, I either turn it down a little (just enough to hear cars hooting etc) or can hear normal noise through them anyway. I do tend to have 'supersonic' type hearing- an example? I have a friend who wears hard contact lenses, I can hear her blinking from 2 sofas away!

I think also I tend to prempt things happening, I'll always stop or slow to a halt at roads, I'll stop way before I see that dog who may/may not run after me, (best thing with dogs is to stand still and let them become bored- works with all dogs but not chav dogs, a dog jumping up on you is far easier then a dog biting your ankle because its trying to hook you to the floor...)

I'd imagine not everyone is the same and that there are accidents but those who do run I am generalising here, tend to have a 'better' view on health and this implies use of common sense, I'd say the proper runners that do use music -apparently not many!- are probably more likely to be more precautios then the crack-berry city worker who is trying to use the internet for blogging or work purposes, yak on the phone drink coffee whilst programming their iphone to play music whilst walking through London imagining everyone will part the roads just for them. Runners tend to use logic and I'd bet more so then those in the real world who do not run.

29/11/2011 at 17:03
Tigerlily wrote (see)

I second that.
29/11/2011 at 17:35
A boy at a school near to where I live was killed crossing a rail line while running. He was listening to music through headphones and it is thought that this contributed to his death because he didn't hear the train.
29/11/2011 at 18:08
There you go then, actual proof music is dangerous whilst running.
29/11/2011 at 19:07
M.ister W wrote (see)
A boy at a school near to where I live was killed crossing a rail line while running. He was listening to music through headphones and it is thought that this contributed to his death because he didn't hear the train.
Yes I was going to mention that one. There was also a young woman in north London who got run over while running with headphones.
29/11/2011 at 20:00
Dan Ellingworth wrote (see)

Out of interest, has anyone witnessed, or heard of, accidents or mishaps in running events that were caused by a runner wearing headphones?

 I'm honestly not trying to stir up a well worn argument: this is for academic interest really.

There is a problem with your question Dan.  Including the "heard of" completely invalidates it.  You may as well ask if anyone has seen or heard of a ghost. 

I have no doubt that incidents have happened.  But I would only be interested in 1st hand accounts, preferably ones that can be verified, rather than 2nd or 3rd hand etc, anecdotal stories.

29/11/2011 at 20:04
I don't normally link to Daily Mail articles but... http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1357536/Public-school-boy-killed-train-ran-level-crossing-wearing-iPod.html
29/11/2011 at 21:05
@M.ister W - that kid was killed by a train he didn't *see*.
29/11/2011 at 21:08
I'm sure being plugged in was a factor, but general stupidity is the fault there.  Sad lose of life, but stupid waste all the same.
30/11/2011 at 07:35
Apparently the fact that he couldn't hear the train was a contributing factor, which makes sense. He didn't see the train because of a curve in the track but if he hadn't had headphones on he might have heard it. Note the sign at the crossing... Stop, look, listen. He didn't do the " listen".
30/11/2011 at 08:11
I'd like the spammer who keeps posting about his Dre headphones to be beaten with a wet tea towel...will that count?
30/11/2011 at 12:42

Re the boy who died.  He died because he was stupid.  That's the hard truth.  If he wasn't stupid, he would have done as he was advised and listened for the train.  End of.

I've never witnessed any accidents due to headphones.  I use them but only ever wear one whilst running and have the volume extremely low. 

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