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The risks of railroad crossings and approaching trains


Vans, semi-trucks, and other larger vehicles travel the roads throughout the country, bringing all types of products to all parts of the United States. Trains also play a significant role in the transport of goods from place-to-place. While considered fuel-efficient, the downside of train transport includes a lack of flexibility when it comes to moving smaller loads in short distances.

While not as prominent and slightly more restrictive, trains are still a valid choice to move cargo and passengers who prefer this form of transportation. That is, if conductors are qualified and attentive, and the tracks and crossing arms are operational, free of defects and damage, and in plain sight of drivers approaching the tracks.

Tragically tempting fate

Few things are more dangerous than pedestrians and drivers trying to “save time” and outrace an approaching train. From a certain distance, the train may seem to be traveling slower when, in fact, that optical illusion is just that. When the train is actually traveling at a significant speed, the ability to stop is anything but sudden and could take up to a mile and a half.

A race where a car is up against any larger transport can lead to tragedy. Add to that nearly half of all train collisions happening at crossings that don’t have automatic gates and flashing lights. The outcome of the “race” is tragically similar, even if there is a “tie.”

Regardless of the scenario, catastrophic and fatal injuries are usually the outcome. Negligent acts that result in life-changing consequences may require the help of legal counsel experienced in this complex form of personal injury law.