According to the National Safety Council there were 7,867 railroad incident injuries and 907 railroad incident deaths in 2019 alone. This number is drastically reduced from years prior but it still proves to be an issue that we need to continue to shed light on.
In fact, the NHTSA has launched a “stop, Trains cant.” Campaign to raise awareness and save lives at railroad grade crossings.
It may seem like a topic people already understand, however, “It’s easy for drivers to forget that even in an emergency, trains can take a mile (or more) to stop. They’re also three feet wider than the tracks — on both sides…[And that] trains need at least 18 football fields of track to reach a complete stop.”
Tips to keep in mind at railroad crossings:
- Never assume that a train is not coming. Come to a full stop, remain alert and look both ways. Trains move much faster than you think, you will not beat the train, so don’t take the risk.
- Leave plenty of space (15 feet) between you and the railroad when you stop.
- Before crossing once the coast is clear be sure you have enough space to completely get off the track.
- Never stop on the track.
- Always abide by the signals and gates.
- Wait for the gate to rise completely and lights to stop flashing to proceed forward.
- Never assume there is only one train coming in one direction.
- If there were to be an emergency such as your car stalling on the tracks know what to do.
Heres a good tip posted by Geico in the case of emergency situations: “If your vehicle ever stalls on the tracks, exit immediately and run away from the tracks toward where the train is coming from. If you run in the same direction as the train is moving, it could push your vehicle and other debris toward you.
If you see a vehicle stopped on the tracks, immediately call 911 or the number on the Emergency Notification Sign posted near the crossing. It will list the crossing number and street so train operators can be notified as early as possible.”
Contact: Glisson Law