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Road chiefs warn of 'iPod oblivion'

Motorists could be driving themselves towards "iPod oblivion", according to the AA.

Pedestrians and joggers are also at risk of getting into a zombie-like state while using MP3 players, phones and electronic organisers while on the move, the AA said.

It reported incidents of drivers breaking down on the hard shoulder of motorways and then dangerously pacing up and down while using a mobile phone.

The AA also cited cases of motorists so plugged in to music in their cars that they drive inattentively.

In addition, AA patrol staff have noticed a marked increase in pedestrians seemingly oblivious to the traffic as they cross busy roads.

These "podestrians" can sometimes be spotted checking their emails as they contend with passing cars.

Also, AA Insurance reckons pedestrian inattention could be the cause of 17 collisions a day and that crashes of this kind have increased 5% in the last year.

AA president Edmund King said: "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'.

"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."

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