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-   -   iPod may have caused this... (https://www.bikeforums.net/commuting/342952-ipod-may-have-caused.html)

beingtxstate 09-12-07 10:04 AM

iPod may have caused this...
 
Article in my local news today

Personally, I would never use headphones while riding, walking, or generally being outside. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE music, as indicated by my iT*nes library massive hard drive hogging size, but I enjoy the noises outside. Typically, that's why I go outside.

Being on a busy campus, I see people almost get bowled over all the time b/c they are blaring P-Diddy or whatever as they walk oblivious to the beauty around them. Sad day...

beingtxstate 09-12-07 10:13 AM

Addendum...

I do not intend to weigh in on whether or not wearing headphones is right/wrong. I am only saying I choose not to.

Everybody is entitled to their own choice. I don't want this thread to be a troll, I just want to share the new story I saw.

Peace love and harmony:)

*posted after I looked at the headphone post...yeesh

Tapeworm21 09-12-07 11:21 AM

I blame the train for his death.

beingtxstate 09-12-07 12:05 PM

Personally I thought it was a butterfly in China, but what do I know?

ilikebikes 09-12-07 12:06 PM

We once responded to a "train vs pedestrian" (pedestrian always looses) We found the guy spread out beneath the train for about 80 feet, not going to get any more detailed than that, needless to say I felt horrible for him, I couldnt get this poor guy of my mind, we got back to the station and we were there for about three hours when we get a call from the chief, ends up this guy brutally killed his girlfriend for breaking up with him, then jumped on his bike, rode to the train station, and comitted "suicide by trian" :mad: the coward! :mad: in the case of the article, I hope its just a tragic accident :( by the way, till this day, Im glad that guy from my story is no longer around.

evblazer 09-12-07 12:15 PM

There is no rational excuse for not looking both ways when crossing an intersection, any intersection.
But this chap decided not to bother at an intersection where a multi hundred ton vehicle is going to be crossing. If this happens to him with an iPOD it'll happen to him if he is driving with the stereo on.

"Its like a four-way intersection with no stop signs, Gengler said."

I have to say I personally don't think I have ever seen a crossing with one whether it had gates or not and I wonder if it would stop most cyclists. I cross at least a dozen on my weekend rides none of them have anything more then a X next to them to signify the rail crossing and those big wheel sucking rails across the roadway.
From http://www.sshep.com/train.htm it costs $380,000 to install each railway crossing to have dropdown gates that you can't pass through. Even with them you should always look. It could be malfunctioning.

People seem to ignore standard safety arms down here:
"In the meantime, vehicles can easily maneuver around the safety arms, as happened Monday. It's a major problem in Grand Prairie, police say.

"We typically will catch between 50 and 100 violators every time we do a concentrated railroad enforcement detail," Grand Prairie police Sgt. Eric Hansen said. "I cannot echo enough the importance of obeying railroad signals."
"

evblazer 09-12-07 12:20 PM


Originally Posted by ilikebikes (Post 5257456)
ends up this guy brutally killed his girlfriend for breaking up with him, then jumped on his bike, rode to the train station, and comitted "suicide by trian" :mad: the coward! :mad:

I know a few engineers and some have hit cars/walkers/bikes. They remember it forever and have nightmares about. Obviously your guy already killed his girlfriend so wasn't in a caring mood but I hope I'd never commit suicide in a way which forced someone else to kill me. Hey when your stuck on metro north on the train for 3 hours waiting for them to clean up after a few people who walked off the platform in front of a passing train at full tilt the mind tends to wander.

beingtxstate 09-12-07 12:27 PM


Originally Posted by evblazer (Post 5257527)
There is no rational excuse for not looking both ways when crossing an intersection, any intersection.
But this chap decided not to bother at an intersection where a multi hundred ton vehicle is going to be crossing. If this happens to him with an iPOD it'll happen to him if he is driving with the stereo on.

That is a great point. Obviously the verdict is still out on how it happened. Regardless, it is sad to hear of someones death, and also sad to think that the responsible cyclists' image may become more tarnished by the acts of the few.

JohnBrooking 09-12-07 12:54 PM

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. :p

Jarery 09-12-07 07:56 PM

I bet in the ipod forums their blaming it on the bike.

SDRider 09-12-07 08:36 PM


Originally Posted by Jarery (Post 5260412)
I bet in the ipod forums their blaming it on the bike.

On a bike forum I'm blaming it on the wearer. You don't cross a road without visually checking for traffic so there is no way a reasonable person would cross a RR track without checking to see if a train is approaching. The fact that he was wearing an iPod is completely and utterly moot. I can't believe I am actually saying this, because it should be painfully obvious, but to blame the iPod is ridiculous...in fact, it's probably the dumbest thing I've read today.

ax0n 09-12-07 09:07 PM

I posted that story in the headphone thread. My general thoughts are the cyclist was a flippin' idiot and he did multiple things wrong. One of which was possibly shutting out one of his senses by blaring his music at an unreasonable level. Another of which was not using the ones he had left available. Like, his eyes.

There are a lot of details missing, though. Unless he was found with both ears blocked with headphones, and music still playing and really, really cranked, it's hard for anyone to say he was totally shutting out his sense of sound.

buzzman 09-12-07 09:10 PM


The intersection is not gated and is not lit...

Its like a four-way intersection with no stop signs
no matter what I think about earphones I'd say those circumstances trump it in this case.

MrCjolsen 09-12-07 11:56 PM

I think iPods are far more dangerous for pedestrians to wear than cyclists. I use my a lot whenever I ride on any kind of bike trail. I honestly can't think of a scenario where my wearing an iPod would cause an accident in such a situation. But I can think of many ways that a pedestrian wearing one could get hurt because of their iPod.

Steve B. 09-13-07 05:53 AM

Well, I'll weigh in.

It's just plain stupid as well as being illegal in many states, including my home -New York:

Quote: Section 375 24-a. Use of earphones while driving or riding a bicycle

"It shall be unlawful to operate upon any public highway in this state a motor vehicle, limited use automobile, limited use motorcycle or bicycle while the operator is wearing more than one earphone attached to a radio, tape player or other audio device."


And while I'm of the opinion that there can be a lot of dumb laws on the books, this isn't one of them.

Thus I have very little sympathy when I read a news article like this one.

Sorry, a cynical New Yawker here.

Steve B.

lil brown bat 09-13-07 06:48 AM


Originally Posted by buzzman (Post 5260884)
no matter what I think about earphones I'd say those circumstances trump it in this case.

I don't see how they're in any way related. When a vehicle approaches an intersection, the rider or driver must make sure it's safe to proceed before doing so. Lights, signs, or their absence don't relieve you of this obligation.

As for the ipod, I think some proponents make "just as safe" claims that can't be logically supported (you can't prove how a situation would have turned out if you'd been doing things the other way, all you know is how it did turn out). I think it was probably a contributing factor here, but we'll never know that for sure. Deaf people are allowed to drive, and supposedly have a lower accident rate than hearing people -- the theory is that the absence of hearing makes them more vigilant with their other senses, and in theory an ipod wearer could go the same way. OTOH, absence of hearing != presence of sound, which can be distracting. I have functioning hearing and I choose to use it to enhance my safety and enjoy the music of the commute, as it were (two passing trolleys ringing their bells at each other, a motorist hearing and deciding to play a little riff on his car horn to go along, honking geese by the river, etc.).

DataJunkie 09-13-07 08:03 AM

I hear iPods caused WWII and global famine.

ilikebikes 09-13-07 08:41 AM

Lets all be realistic, the I-Pod didnt jump up onto his head and force him to listen to music at gun point :rolleyes: he chose to use it, so if his hearing was impared by the I-Pod, it was his fault for using it while riding his bike, sounds like parents blaming movies and TV shows for corrupting thier kids with sex and violence, when in all reality all you have to do is tell your kids not to watch it, or just shut of the TV! :rolleyes: this guy had the same choice, bbut chose to use the I-Pod, sad to say, but he paid the price :(

recursive 09-13-07 08:52 AM

It's the train conductors fault. He was probably eating and talking on the cell phone, and veered to the right when he lost concentration.

dobber 09-13-07 11:06 AM


Originally Posted by JohnBrooking (Post 5257798)
If he didn't hear the horn due to loud volume on the iPod, then obviously the iPod was a contributing factor

That would have to be an extremely loud iPod. I live near tracks and even inside with my iPod I can hear the freights blowing their horns as they move through the crossings.

Here's the site of the accident (I believe)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=e...4718&z=15&om=1

Looks like the tracks are elevated on a berm at this point and the road rises to meet them. Probably just powering up the incline and never saw it.

Tapeworm21 09-13-07 11:59 AM

http://javalab.cs.uni-bonn.de/resear...ges/darwin.jpg

I blame him.

littlewaywelt 09-13-07 01:21 PM

iPod didn't cause anything...a rider wasn't paying attention.

there are a million things that can distract and we don't blame the result on the distraction.
if a driver changes the radio station and runs someone over, is it the radio's fault? no.

aliensporebomb 09-14-07 02:17 PM

I own an iPod myself.

But the last thing I'm going to do is wear it and listen to it on a bike.

Lately, a rider in the Twin Cities was struck and killed by a bus.

He did not have a helmet or identification but was carrying an iPod.

But, there may never be an explanation of what truly happened with that guy.

Artkansas 09-14-07 02:37 PM


Originally Posted by SDRider (Post 5260659)
On a bike forum I'm blaming it on the wearer. You don't cross a road without visually checking for traffic so there is no way a reasonable person would cross a RR track without checking to see if a train is approaching.

I have to agree with you there. And further more, like most of us, we tend to ride the same places repeatedly, so most likely, he knew that the crossing was there, it wasn't a surprise that he got into before he realized it.

Still, its sad.

kimolop 09-14-07 02:53 PM

Terrible tragedy. I think that many people are unaware how much hearing contributes to awareness on the road. I fly airplanes, where there are obviously no audio cues as far as traffic goes. You need to keep a constant, and I mean constant lookout for other planes, and even then, sometimes you don't see them until they're very close. Same thing goes for all the jet-ski vs boats accidents you hear about. People simply aren't used to using only they're eyes to keep safe.

kimolop 09-14-07 02:55 PM

Oops! Their eyes, not they're eyes


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