How Common Are Public Transit Accidents in New York?
Compared to other motor vehicle accidents, public transit accidents are quite rare. When it comes to transit options, bus accidents are more common than train accidents, as well. In New York, public transportation is an extremely viable option that includes all subways and buses in New York City, the Long Island Railroad (LIRR), and the Metro-North Railroad. Passengers can ride throughout NYC, its suburbs, and even parts of New Jersey and Connecticut.
Most accidents happen when public transit vehicles collide with other vehicles on the roadway or in railroad crossings.
Bus Accident Statistics
On average, about 63,000 bus crashes occur on United States roadways each year, approximately 14,000 people get hurt, and 50 people lose their lives. Within major cities like NYC, buses are 1.9% more likely to be involved in an accident.
Although these numbers are low compared to passenger vehicle accidents, those injured or killed in bus accidents still deserve justice.
Train Accident Statistics
According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, train accidents are extremely rare. In 2020, there was only 1 fatal train accident in the United States. Although there were 26 derailments and 8 collisions, only 67 people were injured nationwide.
Most railroad-related deaths and injuries are pedestrians or passenger vehicle occupants who wind up on the tracks at the wrong time.
As a train passenger, you are reasonably safe and safer than you are on most other transit options. As a driver and pedestrian, make sure to:
- Stay off railroad tracks
- Be aware of warning signs and symbols
- Stop at railroad crossings
- Always assume there is a train coming
- Double-check before you cross train tracks
- Never try to beat a train across the tracks
- Exit your vehicle if it becomes stalled on the tracks
- Never try to board a moving train
- Avoid trespassing on train tracks
As a subway passenger, remember to:
- Stay away from the edge of the subway platform
- Avoid leaning over or looking into subway tunnels
- Step forward ONLY when subway trains are stopped, and doors are open
- Stay off the tracks (alert an officer or employee if you drop something on the tracks)
- “Mind the gap”
- Be mindful of subway doors
- Load at designated loading areas
- Hold a pole or hand strap on moving subway cars
What If I Get Hurt on Public Transit?
Although rare, public transportation accidents do happen. If you get hurt while riding a bus or the subway, call 911 immediately and accept all treatment you are offered. While you wait for help to arrive, try to write down what happened, exchange contact information with others who witnessed or experienced the crash, take photos of your surroundings and any visible injuries, and gather as much information as possible about the accident.
When you talk to the police, be brief and stick to the facts. Seek medical attention as soon as you leave the scene of the crash. If you need help paying your medical bills or coping with missed wages, you may want to speak to a personal injury attorney.
Remember, you can be involved in a public transit accident as a driver, a pedestrian, or a bus or subway passenger. No matter what, you should discuss your rights and legal options with a lawyer.
At Foley Griffin, our local attorneys are familiar with New York public transportation, and we have been serving clients statewide for more than 25 years. Together, our team has more than 75 years of shared legal experience, and we have recovered millions of dollars for our clients.
We are ready to talk to you about what happened and help you win – all you need to do is call us at (888) 966-8480 or contact us online for a free and confidential consultation.