In the days of dash and helmet cams we are all far too familiar with road accidents involving cyclists. Nothing seems to prompt as many online views, or furious ‘below the line’ debate like a video of a bike crash or a story of how either a cyclist or motorist was wronged by the other party, and vice versa.
Most of these stories are typically a case of six of one, half a dozen of the other. However, there are times cyclists put themselves in unequivocal and unfathomable danger. Wearing earphones whilst cycling is one of those times.
Why is wearing earphones whilst cycling dangerous?
Let’s start with the obvious. Listening to anything other than what’s going on immediately around you instantly puts you in significant danger. Can you hear that car coming up behind you? Did you hear those sirens? Can you hear that pedestrian trying to catch your attention to alert you to something?
Even if the answer to the above questions is yes, the undeniable fact is that, at best, you won’t hear them as clearly as if you weren’t wearing earphones. When on the road, you are vulnerable to the actions and decisions of others, especially on a bike, where the level of protection, when compared to a car, is virtually non-existent. Diminishing your ability to hear, notice and react to unexpected developments is dangerous to the point of foolishness.
Wearing earphones whilst cycling can also be extremely distracting. One minute, you’re chuckling along to an amusing podcast or gently nodding your head to some music, the next you’ve mistakenly run a red light, veered out of the cycle lane or missed a turning.
Some argue that having low-volume music in earphones whilst cycling is OK, but the fact is that any additional noise at all, in that close a proximity, is going to impact your focus and ability to hear the sounds around you.
Cyclists are probably the most vulnerable road users and it seems pointless to go to the trouble of having a proper helmet, high-vis gear and all the rest to then risk it all just to wear earphones.
How can I claim?
When a cycling accident isn’t your fault, it’s worth remembering you may be due compensation. A quick call to Accident Advice Helpline’s 24/7 hotline on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from mobiles can get you on your way with your claim. Speaking to one of our personal injury lawyers will help you learn the validity of your cycling claim.