It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I love music, and the louder it is the better it sounds to me. (Maybe that’s because I’ve slowly gone partly deaf from all the concerts I’ve attended and loud music I’ve listened to over the years.) Seriously, though – I love to crank it up in the car, but more than anything I enjoy the sound of it coming through a good pair of headphones. But when I wear headphones, I hear almost next to nothing else, and I freely admit that’s a big problem. My wife, on more than one occasion, has been known to yank them out of my ear while trying to get my attention when nothing else worked in her favor. It has been known for years listening to loud music with headphones can damage our hearing, but it’s not just our ears at risk – our whole bodies could be in danger.

Earlier this week I read about a 13-year-old boy from Cedar Lake, Indiana, who was stuck and killed by a train as he was walking home from school one day recently. He was wearing headphones at the time of the tragedy and reportedly didn’t hear the train’s warning horns or the sound of the train itself as it approached him.

Teen Killed By Train While Wearing Headphones

While I love music and personal freedom, it might not be a bad idea if more headphones utilized a volume control setting (especially for younger people). I know there’s a setting on iPods and iPhones, but I wonder how many of us actually limit the volume of our favorite songs. I know – louder is great, but staying alert is even better.

Do yourself (and your family) a favor by turning down your music just a little bit, and as always, please stay mindful of your surroundings.

[Image via NOLA]