10 Ways to Survive a Train Wreck

Ten simple steps can be the difference between safety and disaster in the event of a train wreck.
Spuyten Duyvil derailment train wreck
A look at the December 2013 Spuyten Duyvil derailment on the Metro-North line in New York.

Train wrecks are rare, but have the potential to be devastating.

Four people were killed and another 60-plus were injured during the December 2013 Spuyten Duyvil derailment on New York’s Metro-North line. Seven cars derailed from the tracks as the train approached a relatively sharp curve with too much speed.

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However, there are ways to increase your chances of safety and survival should such an accident happen.

According to WikiHow, the following 10 steps are the best ways to handle a train wreck of any magnitude:

  1. Listen to all announcements on the PA and follow all directions given by the train driver, even if they contradict the instructions in this article – they know best.
  2. Alert the driver and/or train control by using any emergency alarms or intercoms that you can see.
  3. Move to the next car back (or away from danger) if possible. If you are at the end of a multi-level train, exit through the end of the train from the top level.
  4. If it is not possible to move farther away from danger, exit downwards and operate emergency exits on this level.
  5. Look for an emergency exit or emergency door release switch.
  6. If you cannot open the doors, look for an emergency exit window. Train windows are typically made with impact resistant glass: Don’t count on being able to break the window without a fire axe or sledge hammer.
  7. Escape the train immediately and stay well clear. Be aware that if the train you are on is also carrying dangerous or combustible materials, you will need to avoid these as you make your escape.
  8. Stay well clear of train tracks and do not walk on them to find the nearest station, as trains can approach without warning.
  9. Once you are out of danger, call the emergency services.
  10. Should you have to evacuate the train in a tunnel, be sure to take extra care to avoid injury.

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