TRAIN ACCIDENTS | Safety: Vehicle Crossings

There are over 250,000 road crossings on U.S. railroads. As many as 96% of all train-related accidents occur at these crossings. You should therefore carefully consider the following warnings. In addition, these suggestions may help you to discover a way to recover damages if you or a loved one suffers an injury at a railroad crossing.

  • Always expect a train when crossing a track and make sure you can stop safely.
  • Always look both ways- do not rely on train whistles. If you are in doubt about the speed of an approaching train, then stop.
  • Do not attempt to cross the tracks unless you are sure you can clear the other side. Never shift gears.
  • Beware obstructions that can block your line of sight, such as vegetation.
  • Take account of weather and road conditions.
  • Slow and prepare to stop when you see a railroad warning sign.
  • Do not drive around lowered barriers. Call police if you think a signal has malfunctioned.
  • If your vehicle is stuck on the tracks, immediately get out and move far away, in the direction a train is approaching from.
  • Call law enforcement.
  • At multiple track crossings, watch for trains from both directions.
  • Remember: a train moving at full speed can take over a mile to stop even with its emergency brake applied.

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Safety: Pedestrian Crossings

Hundreds of pedestrians die at railroad crossings every year, and thousands more are injured. You should therefore carefully consider the following warnings. In addition, these suggestions may help you to discover a way to recover damages if you or a loved one suffers an injury at a railroad crossing.

  • Only cross at designated crossings. Obey all warning signals.
  • Never attempt to race a train to a crossing.
  • Do not approach too closely. Trains overhang the tracks by over three feet in each direction.
  • Do not cross immediately after a train passes; make sure you can see clearly around the train, in case a second train is approaching from the other direction.
  • Never walk around lowered barriers.
  • Do not hunt, fish, or jump from railroad bridges. There is only enough clearance for a train to pass on these bridges.
  • Trains do not follow schedules; a train could approach at any time.
  • Never walk, jog, or ride any sort of vehicle on railroad tracks, through tunnels, or on railroad right-of-ways.
  • Remember: a train can take over a mile to stop at full speed. By the time an engineer can see a pedestrian or vehicle on the tracks, he or she cannot stop in enough time to avoid collision.

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