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New to the D.C. Subway and Rails? Lurking Dangers and Tips to Stay Safe

Posted By Regan Zambri Long, PLLC || 18-Aug-2017

While millions of travelers ride the rails daily, the Washington, DC subway and rail system (often called the “Metro” or “Metrorail”) is certainly no stranger to safety issues. Last year, the entire system was shut down for a day for safety inspections, and ABC News reported last April that the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) had found numerous safety violations system-wide, including blocked escape routes, signs missing, nonfunctional switches and other problems. While crime on the subways has been trending lower over the past several years, there are still more than 1,000 documented reports of crime on the subways and trains each year, according to Metro Transit Police reports.

Despite these lurking dangers, the Metro is taking positive steps to make conditions safer for passengers. If you’re new to riding the subways, the following safety tips can help you ride more confidently.

  • Stay away from the edge. Most subway accidents involving passengers occur because someone was hovering too close to the granite edge of the platform.
  • Stay near other people when waiting for the train. Avoid being isolated when possible. Try to wait with your back to a wall or pillar to keep anyone from approaching you from behind.
  • Locate the call box at the end of each rail car. Use this box to contact the train operator in the event of an emergency. Call boxes can also be found in stations and every 800 feet along the tracks.
  • Keep valuables out of view. Store your mobile devices and avoid wearing expensive jewelry in plain sight. Hold purses and backpacks firmly. Keep your wallet in your coat, purse or front pocket, never in your back pocket.
  • Be alert for pickpockets. Be aware of your belongings in crowded trains or when being jostled, as these are prime moments for pickpockets to strike. Pickpockets are also known for staging arguments or loud commotions to distract passengers.

Senior partner Patrick Regan was interviewed by Washingtonian Magazine about the Metro recently. Click here to read about it.

If you have been injured or victimized in an incident involving the Metro subways, our Washington D.C. personal injury attorneys may be able to help. Call our offices to learn more.

Categories: Personal Injury, WMATA
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