ITC often sees teenagers walking around Lane Cove with their headphones in and eyes glued to their phones. You see them on the school buses, in queues in the shopping centre or walking to and from school. ITC particularly gets concerned when you see pedestrians cross at a pedestrian crossing either with headphones in or looking down at their phones. The problem is they looking at their phones and not looking to see if a car has stopped at the pedestrian crossing. A pedestrian should always look the driver of the car in the eyes before crossing at a pedestrian crossing.
Last year the Lane Cove Council (in conjunction with several other councils) launched a campaign aimed called Distracted – Watch Out Cars About.
Last year Victoria launched a major safety campaign for pedestrians to put away their cell phones.
Of the 196 pedestrian deaths in Victoria in the five years to the end of 2015:
- 131 of those who lost their lives were male.
- The most pedestrian deaths occurred between the hours of 6pm and 8pm (34).
- Thursday was the day of the week when most fatalities occurred (42).
These days people are walking around on their phones or listening to music ,they are just not concentrating on where they are walking.
We have also seen drivers driving around where headphones. Believe it or not, this is not actually an offence, however if you have an accident while wearing headphones and it is found that this contributed or caused an accident you could be fined.
Headphones don’t just cause pedestrian accidents, if you wear them long enough or the sound is very high you can cause hearing loss. Just this week the lead singer of AC/DC Brian Johns had to stop touring immediately or he was told he would lose his hearing. Now we are not saying that wearing headphones is akin to be a member of AC/DC, but you need to be careful.
Hearing loss in teenagers is an increasing problem and is currently 30 percent higher now than it was in the 1980’s and 1990’s. The average teenager is listening to loud and potentially damaging music for several hours a day. How many teenagers do you know that listen to music constantly and much more than teens of previous generations? Teenagers (well just being teenagers) tend to underestimate how much noise they are exposing themselves to. They have no idea of the damage they are doing. A recent Australian study proved that there was a 70% increased risk of hearing loss associated with the use of headphones. However, teenagers seem oblivious to the potentially irreversible effects of their harmful habit, even though one in five teens now has a slight hearing loss. There is also a flow-on effect with loss of hearing. Loss of hearing impacts the development of social skills and can lead to low self-image.
If you are concerned you might want to visit a local hearing clinic with your teenager. In Lane Cove there are two hearing clinics
Flex Hearing Centre regularly holds free information session – check out our Events Calendar to find out when they next session is being held.
So now is a good time to remind your teenager to be careful about wearing their headphones when they are walking to and from school and to limit their exposure to the number of hours per day they use their headphones.
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