Blocking out the world can have deadly results

The world I knew as a teenager in the late 80s and early 90s sometimes feels like a totally different planet compared with the one teens live in today.

Although one thing which hasn’t changed is music’s ability to transport us mentally to a different time and space.

Back in my day we carried big ghetto blasters or later, Walkmans and compact CD players around with us. Now your phone can play almost any song through earphones and cancel out the noise around you. But is it safe when you’re a pedestrian?

When wearing headphones, a pedestrian’s ability to hear traffic and surroundings is masked and your brain can be more focused on your phone than the traffic around you. Sadly, last year, 160 pedestrians were killed and recent studies have suggested approximately 20 per cent of pedestrians are likely to cross the road while distracted by a handheld device.

We all know how important music is to teenagers, which is why it’s crucial parents speak to them about ‘Sound down, look around’. Remind them to turn the volume down or remove noise cancelling headphone/earphones when near a road, so they can hear what’s going on around them, and to look for traffic and hazards.

Music is transformative, but it can’t save your life if you step out on the road at the wrong time. You want to live long enough to tell your future children about living in the 20s and 30s — wow, that makes me feel really old.