Look around any street, and you will see many people wearing wireless earbuds. While some might have them turned off, most likely have them on. Even if they are not listening to something right now, they are ready to hear a message or pick up a call in an instant.
While you can do all those things with wired headphones, the earbuds marked a giant step forward in always-on connectivity. One of the biggest problems with this is it means people on the streets can get distracted at any point. It applies to everyone from drivers, motorcyclists and cyclists to pedestrians.
Safe travel requires you to focus on the here and now
For the vast web of traffic to interact safely, people need to stay alert. Pedestrians need to be alert when looking to cross the road. Motorcyclists and cyclists need to be alert to the movements of cars around them, and drivers need to be alert to everyone around them, as being the bigger vehicle, they can do more damage.
When people have their attention on whatever is coming through their headphones, they are less alert to what’s going on around them and, therefore, less safe. By being more connected to the entire world, they are less connected to the time and place they are in right now.
Road safety is the responsibility of everyone, but those using the means of travel that could most endanger others have a higher responsibility. A pedestrian distracted by earbuds is mainly a danger to themself. A truck driver doing the same could kill many.
If a distracted driver injures you, seek legal help to hold them responsible.