Case in point, last night. Being slightly shorter, I can't reach the railing while standing. I have to use the strap. I was riding home with my current mentor, going over the events from the day. The train was between stops and going at a normal pace. We slowed slightly, then a little more (causing me to sway into him), when we suddenly stopped dead. I wouldn't say I was thrown into him, as I didn't let go of my strap. But I left my feet momentarily. And I kind if let a little scream out. Just a little one.
He buckled a little (he's very tall), but didn't fall. I can't say the same thing for the woman to my right. She fell into me, bounced off and landed in the head of the petite Asian woman in front of me. We picked her up, and the guy next to the Asian lady gave her his seat. A small red bump quickly developed over the left eye of said Asain lady, and the woman who hit her rode the rest of the way with her eyes closed and grimacing. This is the part where I tell you she wasn't holding onto anything.
My hand is a smidge sore from gripping the strap, and I kind of tweaked my back, but nothing major. I must say, this is the first time in many, many years of riding the train where I've been knocked into anyone. You stumble here or there, but I've never left my footing - if even for a moment. (Like a Heather piñata hanging from the subway strap!)
So gentle readers, hold onto the straps, and if you're tall enough, the railings. And like my mom used to say, stand behind the yellow line.