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What caused last year's rise in Staten Island Ferry injuries?

Whether you commute by subway or ferry, it's easy to stumble while rushing through crowds to catch your ride. But ferry commuters may face a few additional hazards once they're on board.

Between July and October of last year, 10 people were injured badly enough aboard Staten Island ferries and in terminals that they needed to be taken to the hospital, according to city data reported by SILive.com. This bumped the ferry service's annual accident rate up to 1.16 per million passengers, an increase over the same period in 2015.

This rate is still pretty low, and it more than meets the city's target for injury rates. But could these injuries have been prevented? The Department of Transportation reports that in most cases, the areas where the accidents occurred were free of vessel hazards, clean and dry.

So what happened? Some of the ways passengers were injured include:

  • Running to catch a ferry and getting tripped by another passenger
  • Tripping over a child
  • Tripping and falling after drinking alcohol

If someone falls because they are drunk, or because they are not looking where they are going, their injury could be determined to be their own fault. However, the ferry operators also have a responsibility to keep passengers areas clean, dry and free of hazards.

From this report, it doesn't look like any of last year's injuries could easily be pinned on unsafe ferry conditions. Still, ferry passengers and other boat passengers should remember that if they suffer an injury that is, in fact, the fault of the boat owner or operator, they should talk to an attorney about their options.

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