Yours is a distinction without a difference. I listen to Morning Edition on my way to work, and All Things Considered on the way home. And that's mostly on foot, mind you. But I'm certain that it's a distraction. Hell, that's why I do it. And on the occasions that I've tried to ride with music, I've found it to be even more so.“Like motorists who insist that they can safely text and drive,” wrote Bicycling.com’s Neil Bezdek last December, “perhaps cyclists should skip the headphones simply because it’s unfair to take unnecessary risks in other people’s road space, regardless of personal risk tolerance.” ... "The best way to mitigate that danger is to avoid as many distractions as possible. [emphasis mine]
PS: Look up the phrase "inattentional blindness." The problem has less to do with not hearing, but with focus.