Passengers onboard your train start getting up from their seats, afraid and panicking. The brakes screech and squeal. Everyone’s thrown to the floor as the train jolts and tries to slow down.
You look out the window. Another fast train, on the same track, is heading right at you. The clock is ticking. There are only minutes before you collide head-on.
Being in a high-speed train with no seatbelt might seem dangerous. But taking a train is one of the safest ways to travel, second only to riding an airplane. The odds of dying in a train crash are about 1 in 500,000.
And while derailments are fairly common, most of them aren’t as bad as you might think. Every hour and a half, a train is derailed or collides with an object. Luckily, it usually doesn’t cause any injuries or deaths.
Even though riding a train is relatively safe, it’s best to be prepared when the worse comes to worst. Where’s the safest spot to be during a train crash?
Is it safe to jump off a moving train? And why is it a bad idea to hide in the café car?
Step 1: Choose a Safe Seat
The next time you book train tickets, you might want to reconsider choosing the cheapest seats. It could save your life. Avoid sitting in the front cars. They’re almost always the first to get hit when a train ride goes wrong.
The lead car will be the first to get squashed in a head-on collision. And they’re often the first to break off in a derailment. The safest cars are often one or two cars back from the center of the train. They’ll be protected by the other cars in a crash, and are less likely to come off the rails.
Oh, and don’t hang around the café in an emergency. It might be tempting to stress eat, but the tables, bottles, and cutlery will turn into deadly projectiles if things get ugly.
Step 2: Listen
Your choice of seats was a wise decision. A crash is imminent. Everyone’s screaming and panicking, but don’t get caught up in the chaos. Pay attention to any announcements over the train’s P.A. system. The train crew will probably be the first to see any oncoming danger.
Listen to and follow all the instructions they give. They’re properly trained to deal with whatever danger is coming your way. If you do notice something wrong, alert any nearby staff, or use the emergency alarms or intercoms to alert the driver. Now, the only thing you can do is prepare for the crash.
Step 3: Position Yourself
Sit with your back towards the front of the train. Since most trains don’t have seatbelts, this will stop you from being thrown forward during a crash. If the train is about to be hit in a side collision, stay away from the windows and sit in an aisle seat. But what if you’re in the worst-case scenario, and you have to jump off?
Step 4: Prepare to Jump
Jumping off a moving train is extremely dangerous. Before you jump, look for blankets or anything you can use to cover your head and body. Next, try to get to the end of the train. This is the safest spot to jump from. Then, it’s all about timing.
Crouch as low as possible, bend your knees, and aim for a clear spot away from the train and tracks. When you do jump, don’t land on your feet. Cover your head with your arms, keep your body straight, and try to roll like a log.
Step 5: Get Out
There’s no time to jump. The trains smash, and the cars fall. You’re battered and bruised, but fortunately you survived the crash. But don’t wait around, the train is still dangerous even after the impact. There still may be a fire or combustible materials onboard. Look for the nearest emergency exit, window or door, and get out.
So remember, the safest spot on a train during collision or derailment is in the middle. And if you want to be in the safest seat, choose an aisle seat facing the rear.
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