Four Subway Deaths in 24 Hours-Some Safety Reminders

Subways and buses are the preferred mode of transportation for millions of New Yorkers every day. Not only is public transportation convenient, but it also helps protect the environment. And, best of all, there is no need to find parking, which is either very expensive or unavailable.

Yet, the convenience comes with some safety concerns, as evidenced by the recent four fatal subway accidents that occurred in a 24-hour period in the New York subway system. The cause of deaths ranged from intoxication, slipping and falling on the stairs, and finally, people inexplicably standing on the train tracks in the path of the train. One man in particular was hit by several trains before his body was noticed.

People who use the subway system and the people who operate it may take their daily routines for granted, but it is important to remember that a train is a high-speed, heavy piece of machinery. And in addition to the train itself, other hazards exist in subways, including:

  • Poorly maintained escalators and elevators that sometimes need maintenance
  • Stairwells and ramps that are a common source of slips and falls
  • Other people who may commit crimes and cause injuries or fatalities

Safety Tips From the MTA
According to the Metropolitan Transit Authority, most subway accidents happen because people are in a rush, resulting in slip and falls that can seriously injure someone. To reduce the time it takes to get on the train without rushing down the stairs and risking injury, consider standing near the center of the platform by the sign that reads “Train Stops Here” Also, in some cases where many people are using the stairs or the escalator, the elevator may be a faster and safer choice than running down the stairs.

No matter how late you are, however, and regardless of the consequences for your lateness, it is worse to be injured than late. In many cases, especially during rush hour, the difference between missing a train and catching the next one may be just a few minutes.

What to Do in an Emergency
All trains are equipped with emergency cords to allow passengers to help other passengers in need of help. This includes people stuck between the subway doors and dragged by the train. Unlike elevator doors, train car doors are not designed to stop closing just because a person or an item is caught in the doorway. However, the MTA recommends that an emergency cord not be pulled if someone is experiencing a medical emergency because this will stop the train and medical personnel cannot reach the person who may need help.

However, follow advice such as this when riding the subway does not mean that injuries will not occur. When the MTA does not properly maintain stairwells and escalators or its employees make mistakes, accidents happen. The best way to stay safe when riding the subway is to stay alert and to adjust to circumstances.

  • American Association for Justice | Leaders Forum Patron 2015
  • Multi Million Dollar Advocates Forum
    Avvo Rating 10.0 Superb Top Attorney Slip and Fall