Navigation Links
'Don't drink and ride': Improving subway safety
Date:12/16/2008

December 16, 2008 -- Structural interventions and public safety messages may be the most effective ways to prevent subway fatalities and improve the overall safety of New York City subway systems, according to a study by researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. Subway safety is important because even though subway transit is a relatively safe mode of transportation, it has the highest fatality rate of all forms of mass transit in the U.S. The paper, "Epidemiology of Subway-Related Fatalities in New York City," is published in the November 2008 edition of the Journal of Safety Research.

To characterize subway-related fatalities and identify opportunities for risk reduction, the Mailman School researchers reviewed files from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of New York City (OCME) for all NYC subway-related deaths between the years 1990-2003. During that time, there were 668 subway-related fatalities. Of these, 10 (1.5%) were homicides, 343 (51.3%) were suicides, and 315 (47.2%) were accidental (unintentional) deaths. The majority (84%) of all subway fatality victims were male, and the largest proportion (26.5%) of victims were between 35-44 years of ages. More subway-related fatalities occurred in Manhattan (43.1%) than in any other borough.

Unintentional subway fatalities may result from a variety of adverse events, such as incursions onto the tracks. Passengers may purposefully jump onto tracks to retrieve dropped personal items, or accidentally fall onto the tracks through missteps, sudden illness, or lack of supervision of children. Thrill-seeking behaviors ("subway surfing") of youth may also result in fatalities.

"An interesting finding of the study was the relationship between alcohol intoxication and unintentional subway fatalities; 46% of all accidental subway-fatality victims had a positive toxicological screen for alcohol. This is significantly higher than the average rate reported by the OCME for all other subway fatality victims, including homicides and suicides," says Robyn Gershon, DrPH, professor of clinical Sociomedical Sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health. "Given that more than 75% of households in Manhattan and more than 50% of those in all of NYC do not own a car, there may be a sense that drinking alcohol to the point of intoxication is not risky since people are not driving," says Dr. Gershon. "However these data suggest that riding subways while intoxicated may be associated with accidental death. This is a public health message that has not, to our knowledge, been communicated to the general public."

Improvements to the subway environment, such as adequate lighting, well-functioning and structurally sound elevators, escalators, subway cars and rails, clear egress paths, easy to follow signage, effective communication systems, good housekeeping, and other standard environmental controls may improve safety outcomes. Increasing the visibility of police and lowering the level of disorder on subways is also an important component to reducing the overall climate for violent crime, as well as the fear of violent crime.

Dr. Gershon suggests that public information campaigns addressing the dangers associated with riding after drinking may help lessen the risk of this type of unintentional fatality. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority already promotes safety through numerous messages aimed at parents of young children and thrill-seeking individuals, as well as safe riding in general. "Public messages, similar to the ones developed to discourage drunk driving, might be similarly effective in raising the awareness of the risk associated with intoxication while riding the subway," Dr. Gershon recommends.


'/>"/>

Contact: Stephanie Berger
sb2247@columbia.edu
212-305-4372
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Growing Link Between Diabetes and Periodontal Disease Focus of National Gathering for Health Care Leaders
2. Treating your periodontal pockets may benefit your pocket book
3. Ortho Organizers(R) Announces the Launch of the Ancor Pro(TM) Orthodontic Anchorage System Hands-on Course
4. Survey confirms Americans prefer root canal treatment by endodontists
5. Most With High Blood Pressure Dont Follow Recommended Diet
6. Watch Your Mouth: Michigan Association of Endodontists Offers Four Part Series on Keeping Your Teeth Healthy
7. NYU dental researchers find evidence of periodontal disease leading to gestational diabetes
8. HPV, periodontitis work in tandem to increase risk of tongue cancer
9. Ortho Organizers(R) Introduces New Premium Product Line - O2 Select(TM) Orthodontic Instruments
10. Saving teeth by using periodontal ligament regeneration
11. Researchers uncover higher prevalence of periodontal disease in rheumatoid arthritis patients
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:8/18/2017)... ... August 18, 2017 , ... ... LLC (“Quick”), a highly specialized asset-light logistics provider of complex transport solutions ... definitive agreement to purchase Unitrans International Corporation, a division of Roadrunner Transportation ...
(Date:8/18/2017)... ... August 18, 2017 , ... As an ... an educational webinar, they will present the line of epMotion automated liquid handling ... easy you can automate everyday pipetting tasks. , Ideal for scientists and lab ...
(Date:8/18/2017)... ... August 18, 2017 , ... Moore Insurance, a Houston ... east Texas, is launching a regional charity effort to provide publicity assistance and ... Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation (PBTF) has raised nearly $30 million in donations that ...
(Date:8/18/2017)... ... August 18, 2017 , ... The Golseth Agency, a Texas based ... area, is spearheading a regional charity campaign organized to provide support to Christina Upchurch ... of this year, Christina and her children returned from out of town to find ...
(Date:8/18/2017)... ... August 18, 2017 , ... Alcovit, a lime-flavored beverage that rids the ... efforts with its product now available through Jet.com. , After 25 years of ... powdered drink is designed to quickly detox the body thereby avoiding alcohol-induced hangovers. Whether ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:8/15/2017)... 15, 2017 AccuGenomics, Inc., a diagnostic company ... announced that the company has provided an AccuKit to ... Carolina at Chapel Hill and to Qura Therapeutics for ... and quantify HIV reservoir and viral expression in human ... HIV Cure Center is a joint initiative between the ...
(Date:8/8/2017)... Israel, Aug. 8, 2017  BioLineRx Ltd. (NASDAQ/TASE: BLRX), ... today reports its financial results for the second quarter ... during the second quarter 2017 and to date: ... clinical development programs for the Company,s lead project, BL-8040: ... pivotal study with BL-8040 as novel stem cell mobilization ...
(Date:8/7/2017)... 2017  Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: DPLO), the nation,s largest ... June 30, 2017.  All comparisons, unless otherwise noted, are to ... Second Quarter 2017 Highlights include: ... an increase of 3.5% Total prescriptions dispensed ... of 7.5% versus 7.6% Gross profit ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: