Avoiding Railway Accidents

Trains are one of the most powerful vehicles on land, especially when they are in motion. They weigh more than a couple of tons, transporting anything from food, equipment, to people. Because of their size and speed they may take a long time to stop, therefore, when road intersections occur, most of the time other vehicles such as cars are the ones that stop to make way for the train to cross. This is the reason why safety gates are vital in these crossroads.

The risk of not having safety gates come in multitudes. They signal the arrival of the train, informing other drivers to stop and allow the train to pass. If the safety gates or signal lights are not functioning properly, they can cause confusion in the drivers, which could lead to fatal accidents. More often, drivers still try to outrun trains, adding to the statistics of 2,746 railroad collisions in 2007 alone. This stark reality, where thousands of people die each year in train accidents, could be changed if all railway intersections were properly maintained.

Not all signals and safety gates are electronically powered, therefore paying close attention when coming across can railroad intersection, and these simple pointers can literally save your life:

  • Always approach the railroad crossing with caution – don’t believe that it is always clear.Never try to beat the train across the tracks.
  • Make sure to always look both ways before crossing the intersection – a train can come in any direction.
  • Before crossing the tracks, make sure there is enough space for your vehicle to cross completely before having to stop again.
  • Always expect a train to come crossing in a railroad intersection.
  • Don’t get trapped in the train tracks – if you do get stuck, move away from the vehicle to a safe location then call for help.
  • Never underestimate the speed and distance of a train – they can act like an optical illusion and fool you.
  • Trains are not always audible, especially if you windows are up. If you can’t see any train coming, roll down your window and try to listen carefully.
  • Always follow warning signs, lights, and safety gates. Avoid playing, trespassing, or walking along or near train tracks.

Even at a slow speed, a train can still inflict serious damage to vehicles, property and people. To make sure you are safe when crossing a railroad intersection, follow the simple tips listed above, and also follow your common sense. Defensive driving is always the best option for protecting yourself from any accidents. However, if you are hurt as a result of malfunctions or defects on a railroad, a personal injury lawyer may be able to help you secure compensation for your injuries.

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