Railroad tracks can be both a useful and dangerous feature of the urban landscape. They allow trains to travel quickly and easily between different parts of a city, but they can also be deadly for pedestrians who are unaware of or underestimate the dangers posed by train traffic.
In recent years, there have been a number of high-profile train pedestrian accidents that have highlighted the need for increased caution around railroad tracks. If you're walking near train tracks, it's important to be aware of the dangers and take steps to stay safe. In the United States, there are around 300 train pedestrian accidents each year. While the majority of these accidents result in minor injuries, some pedestrians are killed by trains.
In this blog post, we'll explore the risks of train pedestrian accidents and discuss ways to stay safe.
Common Causes of Train & Railroad Pedestrian Accidents
- Train accidents are the leading cause of death for pedestrians in America
- The majority of pedestrian train accidents occur at railroad crossings when a vehicle or person is struck by an oncoming train
- In 2017, there were over 350 deaths due to pedestrian train accidents and 4,000 injuries
- A common mistake that leads to these accidents is assuming that trains always travel at a constant speed and will stop if necessary
- Another common misconception is that it's safer to cross tracks near a crossing because trains can see you from farther away than they would be if you're just walking down the track itself
- If you do happen to find yourself in this situation, DON'T try to outrun the train- instead get off the tracks as quickly as possible and wait for another one coming from the opposite direction so it doesn't hit you too!
- Train drivers are not always able to see pedestrians on the tracks
- People who live near train tracks may walk over them without realizing that there's a risk of being hit by a train or getting electrocuted
- Drunk people are more likely to get hit by trains since they're less aware of what's going on around them
- Walking on railroad tracks while distracted by a phone, another person, or other activity.
The Safety Point to Consider in Train Pedestrian Accidents
- Be aware of your surroundings and try not to take shortcuts
- Wear bright colors or reflective clothing so you're more visible to drivers
- Avoid wearing headphones as it can hinder your ability to hear traffic sounds
- Walk on the sidewalk, not in the street - if there is no sidewalk available then walk facing traffic with one foot on the curb and one foot on the road
- Don't use alcohol or drugs before walking; they will make you less alert and more likely to get into an accident
- If a train is coming, cross at a corner where there's a signal light rather than trying to cross mid-block.
- If you see someone who appears to be lost near railroad tracks, it's best to call police immediately so they can help get people off of hazardous areas before it's too late.
- If you're waiting for a train, don't stand too close to the tracks because trains can move up to 30 miles per hour on some lines
- For safety, never cross at a point where there are no traffic signals or stop signs.
- Stay alert while walking around railroads because trains can come without warning and will take up most of your field of vision when they do arrive
If you or someone close to you has been injured in a Train & Railroad pedestrian accident, it is important that they seek the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. The team at Wilson Williams Law offers compassionate and knowledgeable representation for those who have suffered injuries as pedestrians. We are committed to helping our clients recover damages from negligent drivers causing accidents on sidewalks, crosswalks, parking lots, etc. Contact us today to learn more about your legal rights following a pedestrian collision!