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Railroad Crossing Accidents

Posted on in Train Accidents

Illinois personal injury lawyer, Illinois wrongful death attorney, Illinois train accident lawyer,According to statistics from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), there is an accident which involves a train and a vehicle every 90 minutes in this country. The majority of these accidents take place at railroad crossings and typically these locations are less than 25 miles from the vehicle operator’s home. Tragically, in most of these cases, the crash is a fatal one for vehicle occupants. In fact, a person involved in a train/vehicle crash is 30 times more likely to die than if they were in a vehicle/vehicle crash.

A train does not have the same ability as a vehicle to stop suddenly. For example, it takes a 150-car freight train approximately 1 ½ miles to come to a stop. Passenger trains – which usually have much fewer cars than freight trains – also take over a mile to come to a stop.

Although there has been a large initiative by both the federal government and railroad companies to educate the public on the dangers of ignoring railroad crossing warnings and attempting to “beat the train” before it passes, there are a great many railroad crossing accidents which occur because of negligent actions on the railroad’s part, such as faulty equipment or employee error.

Many public railroad crossings do not have safety lights or gates and this is where many of these accidents take place. This is especially dangerous at night, when the only warning the vehicle has to depend on is that the train will sound its warning horn as it is required to do. To emphasize the danger this can cause, one only needs to take a look at the differences in how accidents occur during the day and at night. Approximately 75 percent of railroad crossings which happen during the day involve the train hitting the car; however, about half of these accidents which occur at night involve the car hitting the train.

Another dangerous situation occurs at crossings when vegetation has become overgrown, possibly obstructing a vehicle driver’s view. It is the railroad company’s responsibility to maintain these crossings and keep them clean of vegetation and anything else which could cause sight obstruction for both vehicle and train operators.

If you have been injured or have lost a loved one in a railroad crossing accident, contact an experienced Lake County injury attorney to find out what legal recourse you may have against the railroad company.

Sources:

https://www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P0096

http://www.up.com/cs/groups/public/@uprr/@environment/@safety/documents/up_pdf_nativedocs/pdf_upcares_visor_card.pdf

http://seetracksthinktrain.org/

http://www.safeny.ny.gov/rail-ndx.htm

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