The hazards of walking with headphones -

The hazards of walking with headphones

A high school student in Charlotte, N. C. died after stepping into traffic on an overpass.

Another man died when he was hit by a car while he was walking to work.

Police are offering new details about why both of them may never have known a car was coming.

Investigators said Kaylah Jackson was wearing headphones when she was hit by a car. (Click here to read that story)

The man was hit and killed by a car Friday morning while walking to work -- and he was wearing headphones, police say. (Click here for that story)

It is slowly becoming an image etched into our high-tech environment, but the risks of clinging to mobile devices in the wrong places have consequences that are irreversible, and in some instances, fatal.

Shauna Bailey, who works uptown, tries to keep it safe by using her ear buds on the job, but not while walking on the street.

"The last thing I need right now is to be walking down the street and not hear a car blowing at me," she says.

It does happen, and the death of Kaylah Jackson offers evidence of what's clearly becoming a dangerous safety trend.

While police admit she was wearing ear buds at the time she was hit, a source close to the investigation said it hasn't been determined whether or not the teenager had any sound turned on or off.

Evan Sheets of Charlotte sees it this way: "I think it's a risk if you're running and there's a car, you don't look," he said. "There's an ambulance, you don't hear it. I think if you're walking and using it to talk to people, there's no risk at all."

The Governors Highway safety Administration may not agree.

Several states have introduced bills that would penalize pedestrians for wearing ear buds while walking.

Nationally, the so-called pedestrian fatalities are up 12 percent, but in North Carolina those deaths are trending higher at nearly 17 percent.

Is it something that drivers will get used to as they see more and more people multi-tasking while on foot?

"As long as you stay aware, I think you're safe," said sheets.

State lawmakers in New York are considering a bill that would ban the use of electronics while crossing streets.

Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.

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