I keep seeing this sign around the MTA: “75% of Subway injuries are caused by slips, trips and falls when running for the subway”.. and it just occurred to me tonight to wonder what accounts for the other 25%?
Surely there are probably other self-inflicted injuries that occur in the station while not heading for the train.. like bumping your head on a post or something but I doubt this really accounts for 25%. Which leads to the inevitable conclusion that probably the bulk of the 25% are injuries that are caused as a result of other people or objects that you have no control over.
So lets break this down into categories whats in the subway station?
1. Other subway customers (to make it to the platform they would have had to pay the fare)
2. MTA employees
3. The physical makeup of the subway, the beams, rails, boards, stairs, ceilings, platforms, concrete, trains etc.
1. One of the scarier options is that another subway customer will harm you in some way .. seeing as though muggings are not un-heard-of on subways it might be prudent to assume that a percentage of those to claim to will have weapons: a knife or gun during a mugging. Then the mugger injuries you while trying to take your money. Perhaps there is some altercation and you get jumped in the subway by someone or a group of people and beaten, either for money, goods or simply because they didn’t like the look on your face. I shutter to think that this might actually account for a certain percentage of subway injuries. Even if only 5% of injuries are a result of someone attacking you this still seems like a high percentage.
2. Being injured as a result of MTA employee’s incompetence does not sit well either. These people work with dangerous tools and equipment. Getting jumped is one thing. Getting a chunk of concrete dropped onto you is something else. I would venture to guess that injuries resulting from actions of MTA employees might cause more serious harm to you. These people drive two block long hulks of metal for a living and wear hard-hats on a daily basis. You frequently will see them with jackhammers and welding tools. I’m guessing those kinds of injuries are going to take longer to heal than a beating would. Still the MTA employees seem on top of their game and well-trained so I’m guessing there are only a small percentage of injuries that are a result of MTA employee actions. I’m sure if these types of injuries do occur, however, the likely-hood of paralysis or other permanent injury is higher than other categories.
3. Like the last explanation injuries due to faulty engineering would most likely be more catastrophic at a physical level then a mugging. Having one of those big girders fall on you would be one hell of a headache. I’m betting there are a relatively small number of injuries due to train collision since most of those would result in death. Don’t stand too close to the yellow line, however, that train moves so fast that if you leaned over a couple inches you might loose a hand here or there. I wonder how many “injuries” occur as a result of the third rail… Its hard enough to get down to it especially with the likely-hood of escaping quickly enough before the train comes.
4. Rats. Oddly enough out of all the other categories I would think getting injured by a rat would be the least painful. There is always the risk of infectious disease but I’m guessing that if you were a hypochondriac you wouldn’t be in the subway anyway.
I think I’ve come to the conclusion that having only 75% of injuries occur as a result of my dumb ass slipping on the stairs while running for the train is simply too low of a percentage. I would feel much more comfortable if 80-95% of injuries were caused by running especially considering the alternatives…