A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine has cited the use of music playing headphones as one of the newest leading components found to be associated with train / pedestrian accidents in the U.S.
According to the study, pedestrians listening to headphones have showed an increase of more than triple the amount of injuries and fatalities that are incurred in both train and car accidents. Plugged into their electronic devices, pedestrians are unable to hear oncoming cars and trains even when the vehicles honk to indicate their arrival.
In a case study examining reports from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Westlaw Campus Research databases, and even Google News Archives between 2004 and 2011, 116 accidents were reported in conjunction with headphone wearers. Among these, more than half the vehicles responsible for the crashes were trains – not cars. In addition, the study found that only 29% were reported as sounding a horn or other type of warning signal prior to the collision.
While the study's main focus is on the rise in incidence of collisions involving headphone wearers, more attention needs to be paid to the statistics issued in relation to train accidents themselves. Seventy percent of pedestrians reported to be involved in these types of accidents lost their lives, and more than half of those accidents involved a pedestrian and a train car. Less than 30% of the vehicles even sent out a warning signal of any sort. Knowing that, is the use of headphones really to blame?
Thousands of injuries and fatalities result each year from train accidents – a number that undoubtedly must be decreased. While it would not be a bad idea for pedestrians to take heed in wearing or listening to anything that might distract them from seeing an oncoming train, more attention must be paid to the fact that situations are being set up which allow for these accidents at all.
At Arnold & Itkin, you can turn to a train accident attorney from our firm if you or someone you know has been injured or wrongfully killed in a railway collision of any nature. These are serious issues – serious to an individual's safety and well being, serious to a train company's operation, and serious to the legal arena – and they need to be treated as such.
We are dedicated to representing the victims of personal injury accidents such as those inflicted by train malfunctions, conductor negligence, improper maintenance, etc. Whether or not you were wearing headphones at the time of a railway accident or train collision, you will very likely have a case on your hands, and we are here to help represent you when you do.
For more information, contact a Houston train accident lawyer from our firm today.