According to drive.com.au, a study made by NRMA Insurance shows that one in five motorists under the age of 30 admitted to wearing headphones while behind the wheel. Although drivers are allowed to use iPods and MP3 players, police say the practice is extremely dangerous. More importantly, if using an iPod or a MP3 player is the cause of an accident, the driver risks prosecution.
"If you're deemed to be not in proper control of your vehicle or not aware of your environment while you're driving, you could be done for negligent driving if you cause an accident,'' said Chief Superintendent John Hartley.
NRMA Insurance spokesman John Hallal shares the same opinion, claiming that listening to MP3 players through headphones distracts the driver from the road. By scrolling through playlists while they are driving, they tend to ignore the road. This is just as dangerous as using a mobile phone while driving because people cannot properly focus at two tasks at the same time.
"It does beg the question why one is illegal and the other is not,'' he said. "Drivers should always be alert to what is happening around them and by using headphones the driver is likely to be less aware of the surrounding traffic conditions. The issue with headphones is that they can totally block out other sounds. You won't hear a siren and you won't hear a horn and that can be dangerous," he added.
If drivers insist in using iPods and MP3 players while at wheel, they are advised to sort out their playlists in advance.
"Even if it is only for a split second, the consequences can be very serious," Hallal said.
Many of you might think that the idea is an exaggeration but if we were twice more careful and paid more attention to the driving, roads would be a much safer place for everybody.