The subway and the trains are part of the reason New York City is not even more crowded than it already is. But just as cars can cause accidents anywhere on the road, cars on the rails can be just as deadly on their own tracks or if they jump the tracks.
Trains are safe in general when they being operated properly. If it seems that they have safety problems a lot in New York City, it may simply be the fact that the metropolis relies more on trains for transit inside and between the Five Boroughs. But accidents do happen, and they can be dangerous.
From trip and fall accidents to massive derailments, subways in New York and across the U.S. can be the setting for a wide range of incidents. Those who are hurt in a subway accident may consider filing a personal injury lawsuit, in which case they will need to keep the following in mind.
Is this progress?
New York residents know that riding the subway comes with its own dangers. Hazards range from derailments to loose tiles that lead to falls. Since subways are usually owned and managed by local government authorities, filing a lawsuit after a subway accident involves some unique factors.
New York City safety regulators and advocates have joined municipal officials from other cities across the country and globe in adopting aggressive initiatives to materially cut down on serious and fatal accidents involving vehicles. We spotlighted NYC's ambitious "Vision Zero" safety effort in our February 20 blog post of this year. We noted in that entry the hope of city regulators to someday render the metro entirely accident-free.
New York residents may have heard about the March 13 bus accident that killed the bus driver and left many school students and adults injured. The charter bus was transporting a group of band students and adult chaperones back home after a trip to Disney World when it went over an embankment and into a ravine near the Florida-Alabama border.
So-called "positive train control" is an unquestionably attractive concept on paper, with its developers being duly enthused over its safety-enhancing capabilities.
An official with New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority recently cited the MTA's "established and aggressive sleep apnea screening and treatment program" for all train/bus operators. Sadly, no such protocol was in place when last year's high-profile crash in Brooklyn injured scores of people and caused millions of dollars in property damages.
New York residents may be interested in statements made by the National Transportation Safety Board regarding an Amtrak train crash that happened on Feb. 4. Investigators said that brakes were applied just seconds before the passenger train crashed into a parked CSX train in South Carolina. An incorrectly set switch caused the crash, which killed two crew members and injured more than 100 passengers.