It looks like I'm not alone in thinking using an iPod while in control of a vehicle (any vehicle, bicycle, motorcycle or car) is a bad idea.

iPods 'leading to rise in deaths of young drivers'
Listening to iPods and texting while driving are being blamed for the rise in deaths of young drivers on Britain’s roads.



timlennon [210 posts] 7 years ago

Although it seems a bit lazy to compare listening to an iPod and texting, surely? One requires me to do nothing once I've set it up, the other requires me to endless check what I'm doing ...

Tony Farrelly [2919 posts] 7 years ago

Seems like what the report the Telegraph initially talks about "handheld devices" rather than iPods, be interesting to know if young people actualy listen to these in a different way than us old types - many of them have been plugged in to them since they were kids and they do seem to often listen in such a way that seems to shut out much of what's going on around them as I often find when I have to talk to the teens in my life… sounding like a bit of an old fart here I know.

From my own observation though the inappropriately used handheld device is more of a potential threat to safety - coming down a long hill on the way in to work yesterday a young stag ran out in to the road, stopped, went back, then decided to go for it… I had enough time to go for it and luckily for coming in the opposite direction up the hill was the even rarer site on an urban street a smiling taxi driver, two seconds further down the hill behind the taxi I passed a woman zooming up the hill in earnest conversation on her mobile being tailgated by another in a 4x4 looking down at her lap and obviously texting someone… I did wonder what would have happened to me, them, and the deer if they'd been a couple of seconds further on.

OldRidgeback [2847 posts] 7 years ago

Yep, it struck me as a bit of lazy journalism too. But I agree with the belief that wearing headphones while driving, cycling, jogging or even walking from here to there poses a risk. I've had two close calls with iPod wearers in the last few months, one a jogger and one a pedestrian. Both stepped out into the roadway without looking. Luckily I saw them in time and anticipated that they would do so and was on the brakes even as they stepped out. But I can't guarantee I'd be that on the ball every time and nor can any other road user. One of the times I was on my bicycle on the A3 in Clapham and the woman stepped into the cycle-lane - if I'd not anticipated her move I'd have had the choice of hitting her or swinging out into the heavy traffic. The other (more recent - this was just last week) time I was on my motorbike and let's just say that it's very red and noisy and she still didn't see me until it was too late - luckily for both of us I'd practically stopped by the time she 'woke up'.

As with bicycle helmets I think legislating iPod/MP3 use would be pointless. But I still think anyone who uses an iPod while on the move (other than as a passenger) is playing a game of Russian Roulette that certainly endangers themselves and possibly others as well.

I had a very close call with someone texting whilst driving a couple of eyars back. I saw her texting at the wheel of her Ford Escort as I overtook on my motorbike. A short distance later I stopped for a red light and was shocked when she veered around me on the inside. She was very close to me indeed and also to the vehicles now starting to move across the junction. Texting whilst driving is illegal and for a good reason. I still see plenty of people doing it though.