Anyone on the road need to be aware of what other vehicles around them are doing. Using earbuds hinders this.
What about pedestrians? After all, they spend most of their time away from vehicles on the sidewalk. Can they still use earbuds without a problem?
Pedestrians still need to cross roads
Likely, you will need to cross a road at some point. That’s when being plugged into earbuds becomes dangerous.
Unfortunately, you cannot rely on those driving vehicles to know you are there. They should, but many of them are not concentrating fully. Therefore, it is best to be cautious rather than risk your life by placing too much faith in others. Earbuds can harm your ability to hear approaching vehicles for several reasons:
They block out sound
Did you ever put your fingers in your ears as a child to block out the sound of someone you did not want to listen to? Putting earbuds in has a similar effect, limiting how much external sound can enter. This deafness to what is going on around you increases if you play something through your earbuds.
They distract you
The earbuds themselves do not distract you, but what you play through them can. For instance, if you are listening to a podcast about quantum physics, you are likely concentrating hard on what is being said.
Making or taking calls through your earbuds can be even more distracting as you participate actively rather than just listening.
So, if you want to stay safe when walking near streets, it is best to remove your earbuds when you need to cross the road. That said, it is still the drivers’ responsibility to watch out for you. If one injures you, it’s wise to have legal guidance to protect your rights.