An unsuspecting New Yorker was pushed onto the subway tracks earlier this week. He was killed by an oncoming train as he tried to pull himself onto the platform. An incident like this seems to occur almost every year in NYC. It can happen to any of us, and it can make just waiting for the train a frightful experience.
One NYC subway conductor said during a Reddit AMA that he knows the best way to survive a fall onto the tracks:
The best thing you can do is run as far down the platform as you can (in the opposite direction from where the train enters the station) and wave your arms frantically to get the train operator and passenger's attention. Believe me, the passengers WILL be doing the exact same thing, as nobody wants to see you get run over and their train get delayed.
If you can get to the far end of the platform, it gives the train more room to stop, and there is a ladder at the end of each platform where you can climb back up - do NOT try to climb up from where you are. So many people have been killed trying to jump back up rather than getting away from the entrance end of the station.
(Note: The conductor's responses are now deleted at Reddit. His response to this question can still be found at Jalopnik.)
Most New Yorkers would tell you to do otherwise. It's commonly believed that if you find yourself on the tracks, you should immediately crawl under the platform overhang and wait until the train passes. Several commenters express this opinion here. Unlike the conductor's advice, this conventional wisdom isn't dependent upon the proximity of the oncoming train -- you don't have to worry about outrunning a death machine.
So what's the right way to survive a fall into the subway?
New Yorkers want to know...