Railroad Crossing Accidents
According to the Federal Railroad Administration, there is a train collision or derailment every 90 minutes. In each of the last 10 years, about 3,000 railroad crossing accidents have taken place with an annual rate of 1,000 deaths.
In many cases, railroad crossing accidents occur because the railroad company fails to safely maintain the area around the train tracks. Overgrown vegetation, trees or buildings can block a driver’s view of an oncoming train until it is too late to avoid collision.
In other cases, devices that are designed to alert drivers that a train is coming—such as crossing gates, bells or light—are either broken or not installed where they should be.
Negligence on the part of the railroad workers can also contribute to a railroad crossing accident. When trains pass through populated areas at excessive speeds, they can approach a railroad crossing too quickly to allow drivers to react and avoid a collision. Workers who do not sound the train’s whistle when it is nearing a populated area can leave drivers unaware that a train is approaching until it is too late.
Besides companies that fail to maintain the area around a railroad crossing, corporations that overwork their employees or which fail to provide them with the proper training or equipment can create a dangerous situation which could result in a railroad crossing accident.
A railroad crossing accident-related injury is often devastating, resulting in severe injuries or even death. Injuries suffered in a railroad accident may be the responsibility of different parties. An experienced train accident lawyer can help to identify those parties and represent the accident victims and their families.