What to Keep in Mind If You Get Stuck on the Subway Tracks
Wednesday, December 05, 2012 - 12:18 PM
Following the death of a man pushed onto the subway tracks, many New Yorkers are wondering what their best shot at survival in the unlikely event they wind up on the tracks.
Speaking on Brian Lehrer Show today, WNYC transit reporter Jim O’Grady said there are a few choices to increase survival but that “there’s basically no good option.”
- Try to get back onto the platform.
- Moving away from the train could increase odds of survival – it gives the motorman more time and space to hit the emergency brake and stop the train. And there are ladders and stairs at the ends of platforms.
- Ducking into the tracks and fitting under the train doesn’t always work. Clearance varies from station to station.
- There may be set-backs in the walls that could provide shelter. A band of red and white stripes means there isn’t enough clearance space.
- In larger stations, there may be space between the tracks where you sometimes see track workers stand while a train passes slowly. But getting there usually entails stepping over the third rail. Note: the covering above the third rail, called a “protection board,” isn’t designed to hold the weight of a person.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority cautions straphangers from getting too close to the edge of the platform but does not have an official policy on what riders should do if they wind up in the tracks.
Last year, 146 people were struck by subway trains – and 47 were killed.