January 19, 2012

Study: Caution needed for headphone users on rail tracks

A rise in headphone-related pedestrian incidents points to the need for increased awareness of the dangers of walking on or near train tracks, according to Helen Sramek, president, Operation Lifesaver the rail safety education nonprofit organization.

"The majority of fatal headphone-related incidents examined in the University of Maryland School of Medicine study involved trains, underscoring the need for our increased safety efforts," Sramek said.

She noted that Operation Lifesaver created a public service announcement campaign on the issue of distracted pedestrians that has run in Baltimore, Atlanta and elsewhere. The study appeared in the latest issue of Injury Prevention.

While rail-related deaths and injuries have been reduced over the 40 years that Operation Lifesaver has been making safety presentations across the U.S., studies like this show there is still work to be done, Sramek said.

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