February 15, 2006
Hello? Can you hear us? The iPod is great, and when you've got the earplugs in, you're in a world of your own. You need to remember though, that if you happen to be on the road, the world isn't entirely yours. There's buses. And trucks. And cars. And you could end up dead.
UPDATE: Pace some of the commenters: The story may be a beat-up. We're linking to it not because we believe iPods are dangerous - we drive with ours all the time, but via the FM transmitter, rather than earphones - but because, in our opinion, it could be a timely warning that you do need to be careful, when you're on the road, that the iPod isn't going to be a hazard.
Posted by cw at February 15, 2006 01:06 PM
What a flimsy beat up this story was, "a friend" said her ipod "may have" contributed to her death. How tasteless and stupid for the media to run with, and a policeman to bother commenting. Heard Neil "the troglodyte" Mitchell beating this up for all it was worth on 3AW this morning, though I didn't stay to listen to much of it.
Surprisingly enough some people can actually walk and chew gum at the same time. If you have something blaring, if you are dancing to it, if it is intensely interesting to the point where you are completely absorbed in it, well then it may well be dangerous. Whether you are walking, cycling or driving in that cocooned unreal environment called a modern car.
Knee jerk nannyism for no good reason is just typical of the crap produced by the constant demand for product of ever lower value that the mainsteam media needs.
I've been cycling with a walkman since about 1980 until I replaced that with an mp3 player in about 2001. Can it be a distraction, well yes on maybe 5 occasions in that time, but so is advertising, or a pretty girl, or a preoccupation with how I'm going to solve that problem when I get to work. Overall I'd say listening to music improves my focus and I'm certainly still more aware of traffic noise than either a motorcyclist or car driver.
So, unless it can be proven that the sort of person who chooses to buy an ipod is so mentally impaired on average that they can't walk and chew gum at the same time, I would consign this story to the bin it belongs in.
Posted by: tflip at February 15, 2006 03:02 PM
Wasn't she killed by a truck Charles? Probably driven by a person?
What next.. a hearing impaired person killed by being deaf?
Posted by: Adrian at February 15, 2006 03:24 PM
The second last paragraph in the linked article says it all really.
"Anything that distracts drivers' attention is bad......."
If the article said "cyclist killed by truck" would you have read it?
The headline did it's job and made you stop and read the article.
I haven't been involved in too many car accidents but I have been run into by a woman rummaging through the glove box & a man reading the paper.
Neither of them were paying any attention what so ever to the primary task they were involved in (i.e. driving a car), neither of them noticed that traffic had stopped. Both used my rear bumper as a substitute for their brake pedal.
Posted by: brad at February 15, 2006 09:54 PM