Earbuds have been a nice addition to the ways we can enjoy music and other audio programs. However, the snug fitting sound devices can also put you in a position of peril if you're not paying attention to your surroundings.

Monday morning a Mississippi man was struck and killed by an Amtrak Train near the town of Picayune. Investigators at the scene say the 20-year-old man was listening to music as he walked alongside the railroad tracks. He never heard the train coming.

While the investigation into that incident continues it does bring to light the dangers of deleting one of your five basic senses. I don't know how many times I have seen joggers and bicyclists exercising in their own state of oblivion with their earbuds in and the tunes cranked up loud. The facts can't scream danger loud enough. Wearing earbuds or headphones can literally kill you.

Personally, there are very few places, okay only one place, I will put in both earbuds and raise the volume. That place is my bed where I am going on the assumption that I am safe from traffic, trains, and fast-moving shoppers pushing those heavy metal shopping carts.  I don't even use both earbuds when I'm on an airplane. Maybe it's insecurity or maybe I like to be able to hear important information from the flight crew.

While the incident in Mississippi is certainly unfortunate, it could have most certainly been prevented. I wonder how loud the music had to be for that young man to have not heard the train's whistle, assuming the whistle was blown. For that matter, trains are pretty darn noisy without the whistle. My hope for you is that you'll take heed the next time you slam in the earbuds and do anything other than lay down in your bed.

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