Although there is no awe-inspiring name for the fear of elevators, you can bet that for some people stepping into an elevator triggers a combination of claustrophobia, agoraphobia, the yips and a fear of hearing a pan flute cover of “Enter Sandman.” Racing thoughts of cables snapping and you plummeting to your death in a wood-paneled Muzak machine fill your head. Don’t fret, our fearsome brethren. Unless you’re inside a Michael Bay production, there’s about as much chance of that happening as Arnold subbing in for Obama.

You can take comfort in knowing that, believe it or not, elevators are designed to avoid falling. In fact the only time there’s been complete cable failure in an elevator was in the 1940’s when a plane crashed into the Empire State Building. So unless you see a giant ape scaling the side of your building, you’re good to go.

Just because you won’t die of sudden deceleration syndrome doesn’t mean you can’t find yourself stopped between floors, dangling over the precipice. If you do find yourself in this less-than-comforting situation, there are a few things you can do to get out of it.


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I Survived: 10 Real-Life Tales of Survival


This article was originally published in the Fall 2015 issue of BALLISTIC™ magazine. Print Subscriptions are available here.

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