Train Accident Waiting to Happen

January 1, 2021

Trains often barrel ahead at high speeds, and due to their design, it takes much longer for a train to stop than for a car or SUV to stop. This makes being involved in a train accident a serious concern, and caution must be exercised when approaching a railroad crossing. Below are sobering train statistics that will help put this into perspective:

  • A private passenger car that is traveling 55mph requires approximately 200 feet to come to a complete stop.
  • A commercial van or bus traveling at the same speed requires approximately 230 feet.
  • A freight train requires approximately 5,280 ft (1 mile/18 football fields) to come to a complete stop.

Be Vigilant of Trains

A popular saying is “any time is train time.” When approaching a railroad crossing, you should use extreme caution. Following are a few tips from safety experts and organizations aimed at helping motorists avoid train accidents:

  • Trains may run in either direction down railroad tracks, so make sure to look both ways.
  • Trains may travel down tracks at any time of the day or night.
  • Sometimes there are multiple tracks at a single crossing. Be sure to keep an eye out for a train coming in either direction on multiple tracks.
  • Never try to outrun the train. Many motorists find themselves stuck between the arms of the crossing. Trains may travel at high speed and your small vehicle is no competition for a freight train.
  • If you get stuck on train tracks or if your car stalls on the tracks, it’s important that you get yourself and all passengers out of the car to a safe place immediately. Ensure everyone is able to exit safely and quickly, regardless of whether a train is visible or not.
  • Pedestrians should also use caution when running, walking, or jogging beside a train or across train tracks.
  • Use extra caution when driving over train tracks during inclement weather such as rain or fog. It may be harder to see a train coming in darkness or in bad weather conditions.

While railroad workers should already be aware of these tips, they also often suffer injuries due to their inherently dangerous jobs. If you were working on a railroad and suffered injuries, you may be able to file a claim under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA). This federal law compensates railroad workers who suffer injuries on the job. FELA may provide reimbursement of medical costs and lost wages.

Train wrecks are responsible for some of the most devastating auto accidents and often result in permanent injury or death. Trains are extremely large and heavy and are no match for a small passenger vehicle. 

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney

If you or someone you know has been involved in a train or automobile accident, we can help you get the justice you deserve. Contact Saladino & Schaaf today or call us at 270-444-0406 (Paducah Personal Injury Attorneys) or 270-753-1529 (Murray Personal Injury Attorneys) to schedule a free consultation. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, but you must act quickly. There are time limits on legal action.




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