New York City plays host to multiple mass transit options, including bus lines, ferry circuits, tramways and, of course: trains. The MTA, the LIRR, the Metro-North; all of these operations service the city, linking the five boroughs (and beyond) in a (sometimes) quick, (mostly) convenient nexus of track-bound cars. There is hardly a destination within city limits that you could imagine which isn’t catered to, at least approximately, by a NYC train. Now, each of these separate train proprietors come with their own similar yet personalized sets of rules and standards. But there is one rule they all very seriously agree on, and if you’ve frequented any of these companies’ train stations you’ll be familiar with the warning. Something to the effect of: IF YOU DROP AN ITEM ON THE TRACKS, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO RETRIEVE IT. It may seem amazing, given the extraordinary risks involved, but many, many people disregard this very prudent and seemingly self-explanatory advice. Is your cell phone worth risking your life? Some people think so.
Woman Struck By Train
August 7th, 2015: a 28-year old woman was struck and killed by a Metro-North train at the Cos Cob station, a hub on the New Haven Line which services denizens of the Cos Cob neighborhood of Greenwich, Connecticut. Witnesses were unsure as to whether it was her purse, her wallet, or another item of hers that fell onto the tracks but they were in unison about what transpired next. The woman, unwisely, descended onto the tracks in an attempt to retrieve her dropped item, breaking a cardinal rule of train safety. An express train not making the Cos Cob stop came hurtling through the station, striking and killing the young lady. Officials ruled the cause of death a suicide, though the woman’s family challenged the ruling. The case, therefore, is still pending conclusion.
Hit-By-Train Statistics & Facts
Trains don’t obey by the same laws as cars. Looking both ways may not protect you; trains move so quickly that even if they are not in your peripheral vision as you jump down onto the tracks, they could be upon you before you get a chance to escape.
Unfortunately, the event described above is not the only one of its kind. Every year, many people are hit and killed by trains. As far as New York City is concerned, the MTA is a far cry more dangerous than other train systems. While precise figures are hard to come by, due to the understandable reticence of the MTA to own up to the dangerousness of their service, the consensus is that each year somewhere between 50 and 100 people are killed by subway cars. Whether they be struck and killed instantly, dragged, or die later from injuries sustained in-station, this remains a frightening statistic. An even higher total of people are struck by trains and survive.
The Metro-North boasts a far lower casualty total. Between 2004 and 2013 there were only 43 total deaths on or around the Metro-North.
The LIRR registers somewhere between these two extremes. Between this same span, 2004-2013, the LIRR experienced 84 deaths. However, these sums take into account onboard incidents such as heart attacks, so they don’t accurately reflect the amount of people actually being struck by the train itself.
One possible solution to the problem of human beings getting hit by trains is a sliding door mechanism, such as what you’ll see on the Air Train to JFK. In these stations, the tracks are cordoned off by large, translucent walls whose sliding doors only open when a train has arrived at the station. If these were to be implemented citywide, no citizen would have access to dangerous train tracks at any time.
Kaplan Lawyers PC
At Kaplan Lawyers PC, we are strong advocates of safety in all its various forms. The city can be a dangerous place. However, if you read all posted warning signage, adhere to all of the rules set out by city officials, and stay generally alert at all times, you seriously decrease your odds of being injured in an accident. It’s just as simple as that. This all being said, though, it’s important to know that accidents do happen and, at times, they happen because proper safety protocols were not put in place or adequately enforced. If you believe you’ve been hurt due to the negligence of others, it may be within your rights to sue. Kaplan Lawyers PC offers a team of lawyers sympathetic to your plight and well-versed in the art of securing compensation for you. If you’ve been wronged, and injured, then we’ll help win you money that’ll defray the costs of your medical bills. We can set your mind at ease as you focus on recovery. If you’re unsure as to where you stand, contact us today. Our consultations are a free and easy way to get started.