Many people travel across train tracks en route to their destinations without even realizing it. You might drive over a set of train tracks every morning on your commute and every evening on your way back home and never see the crossing gate down or a train on the tracks. As a result, you may not even realize that you are sitting on the train tracks in a traffic jam.
Unfortunately, it is a common site to see—vehicles stopped on railroad tracks during the morning and evening commute. This is because drivers get caught up in following the car in front of them and are so tired of being in heavy traffic that they fail to notice the train tracks. But participating in this driving behavior, or in a risky maneuver like racing to beat the gate coming down, can result in tragic consequences.
There were 2,287 collisions at railroad crossings in this nation in 2014. Of those incidents, 849 injuries were reported and 269 people died, according to preliminary statistics from the Federal Railroad Administration’s Office of Safety Analysis.
Because trains can destroy cars due to their force, it is critical that all drivers know what to do when approaching train tracks, including:
- Pay attention
- Always expect a train
- Never stop on the train tracks
- Never go around the crossing gates
Although most train and car accidents are the result of driver negligence, some collisions at railroad crossings are the fault of the railroad company that owns the track or the train. If you believe someone failed in their duties, and you or a loved one were injured as a result, you may have a claim for damages. To find out about your rights, call us today for a free consultation at (301) 942-9118.