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How can Oklahomans avoid train accidents?


Oklahoma trains have a wide variety of uses in the country, including hauling raw materials and finished goods over long distances. In many cities, including Oklahoma City, residents rely on commuter train systems for daily commutes to and from work. In Oklahoma City, many residents use the city's light rail to travel across town.

In general, trains are considered a safe way to travel and a good energy-efficient alternative to motor vehicles. Where maintenance is lax or train operators are poorly trained or lack experience, however, trains can be unsafe. Train derailments, for example, can be catastrophic.

How can people stay safe around trains? Always stay alert when walking near any rail line, whether it is devoted to freight trains or to light transit cars. Be alert to crossing gates and lights and pay attention to any bells. Sometimes, light rail vehicles are not especially loud, which can make them harder for drivers to hear. Be careful around station platforms. Trains are wider than the tracks they run on, so standing along the edge of a platform can be dangerous. Stand at least 3 feet away from any train that is moving along a track to avoid being hit.

What should commuters do on board a train? Even if you cannot sit, always hold onto a seat or a safety pole. Obey any directions from a conductor or operator. Watch your step every time you get on or off of a train.

How else can people avoid train accidents? Always obey signs, gates, bells and flashing lights around any crossing. Never try to beat a train if a gate is down.

Train accidents are often devastating. In some cases, victims can be compensated if a train operator or third party acted recklessly. They can file personal injury claims, depending on the circumstances.

Source: Oli.org, "Six things to know about light trail and commuter train safety," accessed on Dec. 28, 2014

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