A few nights ago, a car stuck on the tracks of a commuter rail line resulted in an incident that took the lives of six people. Why the car was stuck, and what exactly went wrong, isn't clear just yet. But while the first piece of advice if you're in a similar situation is to get the car moving, sometimes that isn't possible. So the NY Times has what to do.

The first thing you should think about, when you're stuck in a stalled car with a train barreling towards you, is to run. That much is obvious. But the direction you should actually run in is the counterintuitive part:

Away from the tracks at a 45 degree angle, in the direction from which the train is coming.

"That actually means run toward the train," said Joyce Rose, president of Operation Lifesaver, a nonprofit rail safety education group. "I know it seems counterintuitive, but this is to avoid being hit by flying debris. When you run toward the train, you run away from the site of the potential collision."

It is better to take an angle, rather than run directly parallel to the tracks, because trains can overhang the tracks by about three feet on each side, Ms. Rose said.

And, of course, always dial 911 immediately, as soon as you're a safe distance away. This counts just as much if your car is stuck, but there isn't a train immediately coming. Since it can take over a mile to get a train to stop, they can let the railroad know before the train gets there that there's an obstruction on the tracks.

Advertisement

Go read the rest of the article here. And please, please do not stop on the tracks at any time, for any reason.

Photo credit: Shutterstock