Preventing the Tragic Implications of Collisions Between Trains and Vehicles at a Crossing
The Orlando Sentinel recently reported that a grandmother and her grandsons were tragically killed at a Florida crossing in a collision with an Amtrak train. The 58-year-old woman and the two 10-year-old boys were on their way to a camping trip in western Palm Beach County when the accident happened. The three were headed to the J.W. Corbett Wildlife Management Area near Jupiter where they were planning to camp with the Boy Scouts. Instead, the trio perished at the train crossing that reportedly had no flashing lights or gate arms and has only a yield sign to alert motorists to the train tracks.
How Dangerous Can Collisions Between Trains and Vehicles Be at a Crossing?
Unfortunately, the exact number of these kinds of collisions is difficult to ascertain. For example, data from the Federal Railroad Administration suggests that Amtrak’s accident rate over the past 40 years has been in decline. However, an important distinction is that official statistics do not include accidents between trains and vehicles at railroad crossings.
Regardless, it is not difficult to understand why collisions between trains and vehicles can lead to tragic consequences like the one outlined above. Trains are obviously much larger and moving much faster than a car that is at a standstill at a train crossing. Therefore, the people inside the vehicle involved in the collision are in a very vulnerable position and often suffer dire consequences.
What Are Train Track Safety Tips?
While every collision with a train is not avoidable, you should keep these tips in mind when approaching a train track crossing:
- Pay attention to train warning signals. Immediately stop at the designated line and do not attempt to cross once you see flashing warning lights, see the gate lowering, or hear what sounds like a close train.
- Never stay in a vehicle that becomes stuck on the tracks. Instead, have yourself and your passengers exit your vehicle. Once you are a safe distance away, call 911 for help.
- Keep in mind that there may be multiple trains. Even after one train has cleared the crossing, you should always check for a second train before you attempt to move forward.
Contact the Right Legal Team.
Victims of train accidents and their families often face a unique situation in terms of figuring out who to hold accountable while concurrently dealing with tragic circumstances. If you have been involved in a train accident, you are likely facing significant medical bills, the implications of lost work time, and extensive pain and suffering. Anyone in this situation should contact an attorney to learn about their legal options as soon as possible. As the Orlando personal injury attorneys at The Pendas Law Firm, we can help you sort through the complexities to help you successfully fight to recover any compensation you are entitled to. Contact us today so we can examine your case to determine whether you are eligible for compensation.
The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in the Fort Lauderdale, Ocala, Fort Myers, Bradenton, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Miami, Tampa and Daytona Beach areas.