Preventing Train Tragedies with a Simple Design Twist
A study from the West Japan Railway Company shows a simple way to reduce drunken falls off train platforms
Though a host of studies have shown that the occasional drink can help with your health, happiness and even your income, a recent 2-year study by scientists at the West Japan Railway Company has shown that alcohol and train stations don’t mix.
Travel statistics revealed 221 incidents where passengers fell over the ledge at train stations onto the tracks in 2013 alone. This number has doubled as compared to ten years earlier, and alcohol-related falls have risen at twice that rate.
Research scientists at West Japan Railway Company studied video of 136 such incidents in Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto, and observed the behavior of falling victims in the minutes prior to an accident. They had assumed that intoxicated passengers would wander when getting up from a bench, staggering progressively closer to the edge until they fell off. Their study found that only 10 percent of subjects did this.