Front of trolley-train in downtown San Diego.

Front of trolley-train in downtown San Diego.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is gearing up for their annual railroad safety campaign. Their “Stop. Trains Can’t.” campaign is all about increasing awareness about railroad track safety for motorists. Racing trains and trying to cross railroad tracks is extremely dangerous. Trains can’t stop on a dime, so it’s critically important to observe all flashing lights and warning devices at railroad crossings. Equally important is exercising caution and vigilance at passive crossings.

Railroad Incidents by The Numbers

  • Over the last five years (2012-2016), 1,225 people died while trying to cross railroad tracks.
  • In 2016, there were 2,041 railroad crossing incidents.
  • In 2016, 264 people died while trying to cross railroad tracks.
  • There are 216,000 railroad crossings in the U.S.
  • About every three hours, a person or vehicle is hit by a train.

Stop. Train’s Can’t.

Trains are incredibly heavy and require a lot of runway to stop. A train traveling at about 55 miles per hour can take a mile or more to stop. If your vehicle gets struck on the tracks, it’s virtually impossible for the train to stop in time to avoid a collision. Thankfully, many injury causing and potentially fatal accidents at railroad crossings are avoidable.

How Motorists Can Improve Safety at Railroad Crossings

The NHTSA has a variety of tips to improve safety for motorists at railroad crossings. First of all, drivers need to be prepared to stop at railroad crossings. Always slow down, look both ways and listen. Understand the signs and warning devices, and check that you have enough room on the other side of the tracks for your vehicle to cross safely. Finally, never race a train and never stop on the tracks.

Railroad Crossing Accidents in San Diego

Railroad crossing accidents can be catastrophic or worse. After any type of accident involving a train or a railroad crossing, it’s essential to speak with a Personal Injury lawyer about your case. If you’ve been injured or if you have lost a loved one in a railroad crossing accident in San Diego or anywhere along the Central Coast, contact the skilled and proven team at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc. at 1.800.GO.HARRIS for a free case consultation today.

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