A Quebec coroner is pointing out the risks of listening to loud music through headphones while out on the street that appear to be putting more and more youths in dangerous and sometimes fatal situations.
Luc Malouin said it's extremely dangerous to be wearing headphones and listening to music full-blast while walking or cycling around outdoors because it greatly increases the risk of accidents.
The coroner says 16-year-old Marianne Brisebois was doing just that when she was struck and killed by a train in Ste-Thérèse two years ago.
Malouin cites an American study that suggests the number of serious accidents involving pedestrians wearing headphones has tripled in six years, the victims mostly youths and young adults. He added that the new model headphones have noise reduction features that block out even more sound.
"Nearly 30% of people wearing headphones involved in such accidents never heard the train's whistle blast," Malouin said.
Malouin told CJAD 800 News it's worse in the city where cars and cyclists abound.
"Wearing headphones just cuts people off from that environment and increases the risk of accidents," Malouin said.
Malouin said statistics are few and far between because it's a new social phenomenon and he recommends a safety awareness campaign.