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October 2008
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Podestrians

Podestrian = pedestrian + mp3 player.

Apparently people are listening to music so loud that they cannot hear the approaching traffic. Or they have the headphones that cancel out the background noises, which again make it difficult to hear approaching traffic. Plus with all the new smartphones (blackberry, palm, iPhone, etc) people really are not intune with their surroundings as they talk, text and surf the web.

So what’s the problem?

According to  Swinton insurance, as reported here, there has been a significant increase in  auto  accidents due to ‘podestrians.’ It is not so much the signalized intersections, but the smaller ones.

“The most common scenario involves a ‘podestrian’ stepping into the road without looking properly and failing to hear an oncoming car. This often forces the approaching driver to break suddenly and subsequently get shunted by the car behind.”

Are you a ‘podestrian’?

I’m guilty at times for listening to my iPod, especially when running. I am also guilty of texting while listening to music. But I certainly make a conscience effort near any street to be aware of traffic. In the end  I know that an error on my part causing an accident could be far more costly to me than to the car.

I’m not giving up my iPod when running anytime soon. And I don’t believe that asking people to not use their mp3 players is the solution either. I think it is a matter of respect and both cars and pedestrians respecting the rules of the road.

Comments

Comment from Ferne
Time October 25, 2008 at 8:56 pm

What ever happened to listening to natural sounds such as the wind blowing, birds singing. The need to be “wired” 7/24 in my opinion is not necessary and obviously has proven to be detrimental to your health and safety. Getting off my soapbox now :o)

Comment from Sasha
Time October 26, 2008 at 9:52 pm

Sure when people go for nature walks you hope they leave the iPod in the car/at home, etc… and get in tune and back to balance with the sounds around them.
But during rush-hour in busy downtown Toronto I can understand putting on your headphones. Or even on the subway or GO train, it is nice to have some relaxing music to unwind after your day!