The attractions and culture of our city bring millions of tourists to all five boroughs each year. Unfortunately, many tourists are vulnerable to being victims of crime, especially in our city’s mass transit system. Subway crime is more common than you might think. In 2016, the NYPD loosened its position on punishing minor crimes committed in subway systems, and the Mass Transit Authority reported a 14% increase in major felonies in their system, with the biggest jumps in robberies and assault. Tourists are often more vulnerable to these crimes because of their unfamiliarity with the city and tendency to stick out.
Crime isn’t the only way tourists may incur harm in the subway system. Fortunately, you can enjoy your trip in the city by observing some simple tips from our New York City personal injury lawyers.
Exercise Platform Safety
The majority of subway accidents result from slips and falls. This is more likely to occur when you’re in a hurry. You can avoid being in a rush by staying near the “train stops here” signs and giving yourself plenty of extra time to get from place to place.
It’s also essential to stay behind the yellow strip at all times. In 2017, there were 181 incidents in which people came into contact with trains, and 44 died. You can easily avoid this risk by standing back and giving the train plenty of space.
Lastly, if you drop something on the tracks, leave it there. Nothing is worth your safety.
Know how to board and ride the subway. Boarding between cars and riding with part of your body outside the door is not only dangerous, it’s illegal. Find a place to sit or stand and hold onto a safety railing. Keep all purses, bags, and personal belongings within your sight at all times.
It’s essential to be mindful of your surroundings while riding the subway. Hold onto your handbag and keep it in front of you, across your body if possible. Avoid using your rear pocket for stashing your wallet, and don’t put it in a shopping bag or open container. Instead, put your wallet in an inside coat pocket.
Approximately one-quarter of all subway crimes occur to sleeping passengers. Don’t ever fall asleep on the subway and limit distractions – check your email or cruise your social media accounts later at your hotel, not while riding mass transit.
Travel Safely With Children
Many families visit New York City with their young children. Keep a firm grip on your child’s hands and talk to them about the dangers of subway platforms. Strap young children snugly into strollers at all times and try to board at the center of the train. Strollers are permitted on subways, but use extra caution and watch out for the gaps between the platform’s edge and the train as you board. Keep your children within eyesight at all times, and ask the conductor for help if necessary.
Fold your strollers so you can carry them down escalators and stairs. Never go down stairs or escalators with your baby in the stroller.
There is a lot to see and do in a big city like New York City. If your travels bring you to New York City this year, make your safety paramount. Remember, the majority of subway accidents result from falls, so give yourself plenty of time to get where you’re going. Always stay behind the yellow line to avoid any contact with trains, which leads to hundreds of injuries on subway systems each year. Finally, always be aware of your surroundings and take extra steps to secure your belongings. By following these basic safety tips, you can reduce your risk of injury and ensure a safe and happy trip for all.