Thursday 14th Nov, 2019

New research using eye-tracking technology to investigate train-related falls

Photo: RailGallery.com.au

The Australasian Centre for Rail Innovation (ACRI) is looking for members of the public to participate in its research into falls at railway stations and on trains in Brisbane.

ACRI has partnered with a Queensland University of Technology research team to investigate the factors that contribute to slips, trips and falls on stations and on trains. The project is being led by Professor Vesna Popovic from the People and Systems lab and Dr Gregoire Larue from the Centre for Road Safety and Accident Research Queensland (CARRS-Q).

According to data obtained by Fairfax earlier this year, slips, trips or falls resulted in three fatalities and 97 serious injuries occurred across the Queensland rail network between 2009 and 2016, while Queensland Rail statistics indicate that 640 people slipped, tripped, fell or got caught in train doors along the Brisbane network in the 2015 financial year alone.

According to the ACRI researchers, the first stage of their project alarmingly revealed that there is currently a lack of studies on train-related falls and their causation, or analyses of existing and possible countermeasures to prevent these incidents.

The research team hopes that their work might go some way towards filling this gap.

Stage two of the research will see participants provided with eye tracking glasses, which will record what these passengers look at while navigating station platforms and the interiors of trains. One video camera will capture what they are looking at, while another will capture their eye movements.

ACRI has said that the researchers are seeking participants from the general public who are aged between 18 and 59 and are regular train passengers from Roma Street Station in Fortitude Valley and South Brisbane Station.

The final stage of the project will involve focusing on the causative factors related to those deemed at high-risk of falls, trips or slips, along with the design of recommendation proposals for preventative measures.

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