The fact that trains can present dangers is not unknown, however, many may wonder how they can help keep themselves and their families safe from the dangers associated with trains. According to one report, a pedestrian or vehicle is hit by a train every three hours in the United States. It is important to keep in mind that unique characteristics associated with trains can make them especially dangerous.

Trains can move in any direction and do not follow set schedules, which requires motorists and pedestrians to always anticipate a train. Trains are also more quiet today and, because of their size, it can be deceptive how quickly they are travelling and how close they actually are. Trains can also extend three feet beyond the railroad tracks they are riding on so keeping a safe distance is important.

It is also important to remain away from railroad tracks unless safely crossing them. When crossing railroad tracks, whether by car or on foot, it is important to limit distractions. Railroad tracks should always be crossed at a designated railroad crossing and it is important not to cross if the warning gates are lowered and always remain alert for another train coming in a different direction. It is helpful to be familiar with how to take steps to help avoid a train accident but, unfortunately, they do occur.

Victims of a train accident can suffer catastrophic injuries and harm in a split second. Because of the dangerous nature of trains and serious and damaging nature of train accidents, it is important for victims of train accidents to be familiar with the legal rights, resources and options that may be available to them if they have been harmed in a train accident.

Source: Geico.com, “Railroad Crossing Safety,” April 18, 2016