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Staying Safe When Driving Around Trains


Trains are giant steel behemoths that travel quickly and take an extremely long time to stop. For this reason, any train crossing is a point of the potential danger for a motor vehicle driver. Indeed, all California residents must take extreme caution whenever nearing a railroad crossing to ensure that a train versus car accident does not occur.

According to one Midwest police officer, one way to help prevent train versus car accidents is to explain to motorists that their car getting hit by a train is very similar to their car driving over a soda can. In fact, the weight comparison is virtually the same, the officer says. That is why the results can be so devastating whenever a car gets hit by a train.

When a pedestrian gets hit by a train, accidents are just as devastating. Interestingly, pedestrians have to follow the same rules as cars do when it comes to crossing a railroad track. The only place one is permitted to cross is at an officially designated pedestrian or vehicle crossing location.

One common way that cars get involved in a train accident is if a vehicle gets stopped on the train tracks. For safety purposes, it is important for drivers to exit their stuck vehicles immediately. They should never try to push their car away or stay in their car and try to get it started again. The safest thing to do is to exit the vehicle and move away from the vehicle at an angle of 45 degrees in the direction of the locomotive.

In the event that a train accident occurs and a motorist or pedestrian is injured due to no fault of his or her own, injured parties may wish to investigate who could be liable for the accident. Was it the train company? Was it the train engineer, another driver or some other party? Information pertaining to liability is important because it could assist injured parties to pursue claims for damages.

Source:, “Promoting Safety at Railroad Crossings,” Craig Choate, June 17, 2015