10 Ways for Long Island Rail Road Riders to Avoid Gap Accidents

This week’s news that a 92-year-old man fell into the gap while exiting a train at the Great Neck Long Island Rail Road Station is a reminder of the dangers those wide gaps between the train and platforms pose to riders.

A scathing Newsday investigation back in 2006–spurred by the death of 18-year-old Natalie Smead at the Woodside Long Island Rail Road station–found that about 38 percent of station platforms had dangerous gaps and that LIRR, its parent agency and state and federal oversight officials had done little to address a problem that had injured hundreds of riders.

As a result of Newsday’s report, the LIRR began a “gap remediation” project that is expected to be finished in 2012 and will leave a maximum of 5 inches between the train and the station platform.

Here are some ways to ensure you and your family are safe when boarding or exiting a train:

  • 1. Allow sufficient time to board your train
  • 2. While waiting for the train, remain behind the yellow safety line
  • 3. When the train pulls in, allow passengers to leave the train before you board
  • 4. Be aware of any gap between the train and station and take care in stepping over it
  • 5. Hold a child’s hand when entering or exiting a train
  • 6. Mobility impaired customers can ask a crewmember for help-a sturdy, steel bridge plate can be placed across the gap for easy movement on and off trains
  • 7. Move inside the car as you enter the train to allow others behind you to enter safely
  • 8. Never lean on the doors
  • 9. Never touch the train doors when they are opening or closing
  • 10. Never try to keep the doors from closing by sticking an arm, leg, briefcase or other object in the way

Have You Been Injured at a Train Station?
The personal injury firm of Goldstein and Bashner has a long history of successfully representing both train passengers and workers who have been injured in train or train station accidents. Our lawyers provide personalized attention to each client and work hard to get the maximum compensation their case deserves. If you’ve been injured, contact our lawyers for a completely free consultation. We’ll sit down and discuss your case, answer any questions you have, and let you know what you can expect from the legal process.

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