• Tue, Dec 4 2012

How To Survive Being Pushed Into The Subway Track

subway doomed

Sometimes, at The Gloss, we just like to do things that are servicey, and if you live anywhere with a subway system one of your worst fears is probably being pushed/falling into the subway. Rightly so. Because it is the most terrifying thing imaginable. But, despite what this insane NY Post cover says, you will not necessarily be “doomed.” Here are some tips on how to survive the subway:

Avoid falling altogether:

Stop doing that thing where you stand at the very edge of the platform and crane your neck like a bird to see the subway coming. The MTA’s top piece of advice, which sounds self explanatory, is that you should stand away from the edge of the platform. Of course, no one does this, because we all want to be the first person on the train. At the very least, stand behind the clearly marked yellow line on the tracks.


If you do fall into the tracks:

DO NOT necessarily lie down. One common piece of advice is that you should lie down because many trains have enough clearence to clear a body. This is largely because Weslety Autrey, the subway hero, saved a man who had fallen into the subway by pushing him into the subway drainage ditch and shielding the man’s body with his own (two cars passed over them and left grease on them, but did not kill them). This is true of some subway lines, but not all! Instead, a subway conductor says:

The best thing you can do is run as far down the platform as you can (in the opposite direction from where the train enters the station) and wave your arms frantically to get the train operator and passenger’s attention. Believe me, the passengers WILL be doing the exact same thing, as nobody wants to see you get run over and their train get delayed. If you can get to the far end of the platform, it gives the train more room to stop, and there is a ladder at the end of each platform where you can climb back up — do NOT try to climb up from where you are. So many people have been killed trying to jump back up rather than getting away from the entrance end of the station.

So. Don’t lie down. And don’t try to climb up onto the platform. Run directly to the end of the platform (away from the train) and try to use the ladder if the train is not immediately approaching. If the train is approaching wave your arms wildly.

If you see someone fall, here is how you help

According to the MTA’s Charles Seaton:

The one thing we do encourage is that customers stand back from the edge of the platform. If they see someone else fall, they can inform the station agent, use the HelpPoint (if the station is so equipped) to communicate an emergency, or a Customer Intercom.

So, don’t jump in after them and try to be a hero. If you have no idea what help point looks like – I didn’t! – check out a photo of it from the MTA here. They’re not at all subway stops yet, but, if you see a glowing blue neon thing in your subway, and you see someone get pushed, run towards it, not them.

Share This Post:
  • http://twitter.com/keanesian Meghan Keane

    Oh my gosh. That running toward the end of the platform advice is so good. I never would have thought to do that.

  • Fabel

    I can’t believe that is the actual NY Post cover. I want to sum it up in one word like, tasteless? Horrifying? but I CAN’T EVEN WTF WTF

  • Candace

    THATS why the Q was delayed yesterday? Oh my god all my greatest fears have multiplied.

  • HairbySapphire

    Thank you soooo much for posting the safety advice. I agree with Meghan Keane

  • Moosehead

    Also, You see where he is in the pic trying to get out. Well right where say his stomach or upper thigh is there is a gap of a few feet right underneath the platform. The platform extends out to meet the train. You see the yellow line near the mans hands now look further for that thick gray line. Well from the gray line to where the man is, is about the room you have to hide from an oncoming train. The train will not hit you. MTA workers are taught this. Wonder why they dont teach New Yorkers this.

    • hihihihi

      not at all true for all stations. About as reliable of advice as telling people to lay in the ditch between tracks.

  • http://twitter.com/richvicente Rich Vicente

    First of all I’ve NEVER seen a “HelpPoint and I ride the subway at Least twice a day. Second the MTA got rid of all the station agents except at major stops, so that isn’t an option. Third of all, you can’t “Run” down the tunnel because of the gap between the rails seperated by a railroad tie you would have to hop over and each one. Best option is to either climb under the platform “IF” there is space or Jump over the “covered third rail” and position yourself inbetween subway lines…

  • Lita

    “Avoid falling altogether”

    That’s helpful and all but in the scenario of this poor man,
    he was PUSHED into the tracks so he couldn’t necessarily
    “avoid falling altogether”, could he.

  • Jamosak

    I would just jump back up since Im not drunk or obese. This dude was drunk.

  • He

    Running away from a moving train is not going to work, hello but I guess if had enough time one could run toward the stairs.