Brits are turning into a nation of "iPod zombie pedestrians," says the U.K. Automobile Association.
Research by the driving organization revealed there's been an increase in the number of pedestrians using MP3 players while crossing busy roads, making them oblivious to the traffic around them.
The AA believes that "iPod oblivion" could be responsible for 17 vehicle collisions every day, as well as contributing to the 500 pedestrian deaths and 26,887 pedestrian injuries that occur every year.
The AA said mobile phone owners using their devices while crossing roads, for example checking e-mails on their handset or studying online maps, were also guilty of not paying attention to the traffic around them.
The AA's comments are backed up by a recent study by the Pew Research Center which revealed 17 percent of adults have bumped into another person or object because they were distracted by talking or texting on a mobile phone. (See also "Surprise! Texting While Driving is Dangerous.")
"We can't stop the march of technology but we need to halt the 'iPod pedestrian, cycle and driver zombies.' Whether on two feet, two wheels or four, too many people are suffering from so-called 'iPod oblivion,'" said Edmund King, president of The AA.
"When on the move our brains have much to take in and using technological gadgets means that our brains can't always concentrate on so many things at once. This is when we walk into traffic, don't hear the truck or drive cocooned from the outside world."
The AA advised pedestrians listenting to MP3 players to ensure the volume does not override their other senses.
See also: Group test: what's the best MP3 player?
This story, "Auto Association Slams 'iPod Zombie' Pedestrians" was originally published by PC Advisor (UK).