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Old 09-12-07, 12:54 PM
JohnBrooking's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Southern Maine
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What I don't understand is how the train had enough time to see him coming and attempt to warn him and stop, yet it takes less than a second for a bike to cross railroad tracks. They must have seen him approaching from a long way off.

If he didn't hear the horn due to loud volume on the iPod, then obviously the iPod was a contributing factor, but a lot of other things could be, too: Unfamiliarity with the area (although it was only 11 miles from his house, so that seems unlikely), darkness (doesn't say what time in the evening it was, but the train saw HIM), inattention (the article says there was a RR crossing sign, which should have tipped him off to be cautious and LOOK).

That said, I don't have a strong opinion either way on headphones. A friend of mine points out that driving is mostly visual anyway, and many people drive their cars with the radio on. I've personally shied away from doing it, but I tried it recently (not on my commute), listening to talk radio, and didn't find my hearing very impaired at all. Of course that was medium volume and there are spaces between words, so it's not a constant wall of noise like loud music is. So I'd say it depends on the situation. Still, I'm not comfortable enough with it to make it a habit. Even without the hearing issue, it can also be distracting. I think of the place in the Wayne's World movie (I think) where they are driving down the road "banging their heads" to the last section of Bohemian Rhapsody. Not very conducive to being vigilant for an unexpected situation.
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