In a full-scale driving simulation, researchers monitored participants' eye movements and found that roughly 10 percent of the drivers failed to look left to see if a runner or walker was in the intersection before making their move.
The main issue: At intersections with permitted left turns (without the green arrow), drivers are more focused on oncoming traffic. Meanwhile, most pedestrians carry on assuming they have the right of way, the researchers note.
(Be safer behind the wheel and avoid these 5 Stupid Driving Distractions.)
So what can you do to avoid disaster? Disconnect. Recent research published in the journal Injury Prevention found that the number of pedestrians who have been killed or badly injured while wearing headphones has tripled in the past six years. By eliminating the music and letting natural sounds back in, you no longer suffer from sensory deprivation.
But if you're a runner who can't log miles without music, try a pair of AfterShokz ($59.95, aftershokz.com) which don't even go in your ears. The transmitters rest below your temples and deliver sound by vibrating the bones around the ear. (The same technology is used in special ops headsets so that soldiers can hear their surroundings.)
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-- Additional reporting by Amy Rushlow