You think DRIVING is dangerous? How about CROSSING THE STREET? If you’re a pedestrian, you should know this: in the past year, for the first time in four years, pedestrian deaths rose exponentially.

The problem is that people are doing too many OTHER things when they should be looking and listening for cars. They’re texting (illegal to do while driving in most states, but not illegal while crossing the street) and their listening to music on their ear buds or talking on their cell phones.

Safety expert David Schwebel says, "Your brain has to process much information to cross a street safely. The car on your left–how fast is it going, how far away is it and is it accelerating or decelerating? Same for the car on your right. And in addition to that you have to think about the width of the road and how quickly you can cross that distance."

Schwebel was stunned to find that one in three people listening to music with ear buds are unlikely to be able to cross the street safely. He says, "The driving literature suggests that listening to the radio while driving is not particularly dangerous. We found that listening to music while crossing the street is dangerous, and I did not anticipate that. The big thing with music is that your ears are distracted. You are listening to the music–and not listening to the traffic. I suspect that we use our ears quite a bit more than we realize to safely cross the street." Are we listening to a new Melody?

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