Goldberg Sager & Associates
Free Initial Phone Consultation

What causes subway accidents?

On the whole, the subway system in New York is fairly safe, but there are accidents. When they happen, with hundreds of people potentially involved, there is the chance for many injuries and even fatalities.

You trust the subway to work perfectly, every time, day in and day out. You may have ridden for years without a problem. However, any high-volume transportation system is just one small mistake away from an accident. It's critical to know why these happen and what options injured people have when they do.

Historically, some accident causes include:

  • Reduced visibility. In one instance, there was a fire on the tracks. Smoke filled the tunnel. A second train ran right into the back of the first before anyone saw it.
  • Medical emergencies. One accident occurred when the operator had a heart attack at the controls. He was later found in the wreckage, but authorities determined that he'd died before the crash, not in it.
  • Failing to stop on time. Many accidents happen when one train simply doesn't stop with a safe distance between it and the rear cars of the next train.
  • Track switching mistakes. In one case, a train was supposed to get rerouted to a new track, but the switcher was too late in making the change. The train barrelled along on the wrong track and slammed right into another train, which was in the process of switching tracks itself.
  • Excess speed. In one case, a train derailed at 40 miles per hour. Around 200 people got hurt and five died. The speed limit was a mere 10 miles an hour where the train went off the tracks.
  • Drinking. Drunk driving is not something that is only confined to cars. Operators who were drinking on the job have caused accidents, despite many prohibitions against it.
  • Signal errors. Operators rely on signals to be accurate. Cases in which they're given the wrong signal at the wrong time can send two trains rushing for the same section of track.
  • Mechanical errors. Switches don't work properly. Fail-safes don't kick in. Trains jump off the rails. The entire system depends on numerous complex machines working perfectly at all times.

Often, the root causes are even deeper. For instance, if there is a mechanical error, is it really because the train or the track was not maintained properly? If there is a human error, is it because the operator got distracted by a cellphone?

Accidents can and do happen, despite regulations and safety laws. In a split second, they can lead to serious injuries and fatalities. It is critical for those involved to know exactly where they stand, legally speaking, in the wake of a crash.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Call Us Today

To speak with a knowledgeable lawyer, contact Goldberg Sager & Associates today for a free initial consultation. We serve people in all five boroughs and throughout the New York metropolitan area, including Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk counties.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

1628 Kings Highway at East 17th Street Brooklyn, NY 11229 Toll Free: 866-721-2566 Phone: 347-497-3245 Map & Directions

Back To Top