Philadelphia Bus and Train Accident Lawyer Gives Safety Tips for Railroad Crossings

yellow Union Pacific freight train on tracks
April 10, 2017
Legally Reviewed By Attorney Rand Spear, Esq.

Philadelphia bus and train accident lawyer Rand Spear offers information that could save drivers from collisions with trains at railroad crossings.

A recent deadly collision between a freight train and a charter bus has shined a spotlight on the dangers of railroad crossings. According to news reports, the bus became stuck on the tracks while attempting to cross, and the elderly passengers on board apparently didn’t have time to evacuate before the train slammed into the side of the bus, killing four people and injuring dozens more reports Philadelphia bus and train accident lawyer Rand Spear.

Reports also state that a delivery truck also got stuck on the tracks at the same crossing earlier in 2017. No one was hurt in that case, but another train ended up smashing into the truck before it could be removed from the tracks.

How Common Are Railroad-Vehicle Collisions?

Collisions between trains and motor vehicles happen more often than you might think. According to Operation Lifesaver, which is dedicated to rail safety education, “a motorist is 20 times more likely to die in a crash involving a train than in a collision involving another motor vehicle.” The impact of a 30-car freight train smashing into a vehicle is equal to a car hitting a soda can.

In 2016, there were 2,025 collisions between trains and motor vehicles, which caused 265 deaths and 798 injuries.

Railroad Crossing Safety Tips

If you approach train tracks while driving, it goes without saying that you should treat them with caution. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Don’t assume the train has a “schedule” — Even if you cross the same tracks every day, and there always seems to be a train crossing at a specific time, don’t take it for granted that a train won’t be there just because you’re not crossing at the regular time. Always assume a train is approaching.
  • Don’t park on the tracks — If traffic is backed up over the track tracks, don’t idle on the tracks while you wait. Keep your vehicle well behind the tracks. There is always time to cross once the cars ahead move out of the way.
  • Remember that trains take longer to stop — It takes the average train about a mile to stop. By the time an engineer sees your vehicle, it’s already too late for the train to stop.
  • Don’t drive in between the crossing guard rails — This can earn you a traffic ticket, but it can also cost you your vehicle and even your life if your wheels get stuck.

Philadelphia bus and train accident lawyer Rand Spear explains, “Because two major collisions have occurred at the same railroad crossing, reports have indicated that the crossing may be considered a flawed design. In some cases, crossings are inherently dangerous. When individuals are injured or killed at these negligently designed crossings, they or their families can file a lawsuit for negligence or wrongful death.”

Have you been injured in a railroad collision caused by negligent design or another person’s carelessness? Don’t wait to speak to a personal injury lawyer about your case. Protect your rights by calling Philadelphia and New Jersey bus and train accident lawyer Rand Spear today at 877-GET-RAND.