Over the last several decades there has been a steady decline in the number of injuries and deaths caused by vehicle-train collisions in the United States. While this downward trend in train accidents is worthy of praise, we should still consider the fact that in 2020 there were 1,901 vehicle-train accidents that resulted in 688 injuries and 198 deaths.
Alabama residents, especially those residents that live in an area that frequently has trains passing through like Auburn or Opelika, need to take care to avoid a potentially fatal collision with a train.
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Here are some tips:
Always Pass Railroad Crossings With Care
When a train is loaded down with cargo it can legally travel at speeds up to 70-80 mph. This means that though a train may seem to be far away, it can arrive at the crossing much faster than most cars.
Even when the railroad crossing lights are not blinking and the level crossing signal is not blocking the way, it is still a good idea to slow down, look both ways, and be sure that a train is not coming before crossing a railroad.
NEVER Go Around a Level Crossing Signal
Sometimes impatient drivers think that, though the road is partially blocked by the level crossing sign, they have enough time to cross the road before the train arrives.
This is an extremely dangerous risk to take for the minimal potential benefit of getting where you are going only a couple of minutes earlier.
If Stuck, Exit Your Vehicle Immediately
Though getting your car stuck while crossing railroad tracks is highly unlikely, in the case that you do, exit your car as quickly as possible. If your car won’t start, don’t attempt to start it over and over again.
If your car is somehow stuck on or around railroad tracks, exit the vehicle immediately. Call emergency services and, if possible, call the railway operator.
You and your passengers’ safety is what is most important. The safety of the car is considered after you are safe. Rail lines can stop or divert trains upon a call that there is an obstruction on the railway.
Contact a Train Accident Lawyer
There are times when, though you take all the necessary precautions when driving over a railroad crossing, you are involved in a tragic vehicle-train collision.
If you or a loved one were involved in a train accident in Alabama that resulted in serious injury or death, contact the team at Walton Law. Our professional team of attorneys has the experience defending victims of vehicle-train accidents that you need.