Railroad Crossing Accidents
Train Accident Attorneys Serving Nationwide
One empty passenger train—the lightest type of train car—weighs around 80,000 pounds. One diesel locomotive (the type that pulls freight across the country) can weigh as much as 200,000 pounds—some models weigh 400,000 pounds. At any speed, the sheer force of a locomotive can devastate even the most protected and well-built vehicle. It’s virtually impossible to walk away from a train collision without life-altering or fatal injuries. In other words, railroad crossing accidents are among the most dangerous accidents that can ever occur.
At 55 mph, a train requires over a mile of braking time to come to a stop.
Here are the facts:
In 2015, 967 people were injured (either as drivers, passengers, or pedestrians) in train accidents at railroad crossings. An additional 244 were killed. That means 1 in 5 railroad crossing accident victims will suffer fatal injuries.
NHTSA car accident statistics with Federal Railroad Administration statistics reveal that “a motorist is 20 times more likely to die in a crash involving a train than...with another motor vehicle.”
Over 1,000 people will likely be injured or killed at a railroad crossing this year. Over 1,000 people—more than 25 times the number of people who were killed in mass shootings in 2015. Yet, the stories of train accident victims are rarely told by the news or by advocacy groups. Only by loved ones who are left to wonder how reasonable, alert, and careful people could possibly be taken surprise by a train.
The Cause of Railroad Crossing Accidents
The ability to avoid train accidents is often the driver’s responsibility, as trains cannot change speed or direction in enough time to avoid imminent collisions. However, that doesn’t mean every railroad crossing accident is the driver’s fault. In some cases, the design of the crossing itself is the deciding factor. In this case and many others, it’s railroad companies who are at fault for the harm suffered by motorists.
If trains require over a mile in order to brake, then crossings should give conductors a mile of clearance. More practically, every crossing should have a warning system for drivers well before the train is in sight.
Arnold & Itkin LLP once fought on behalf of a mother and daughter who were severely injured in a train collision at a crossing in Louisiana. The victims were a 5-year-old girl who was paralyzed in the accident, and her mother, who suffered fatal injuries. Our case proved that the crossing was a well-known local hazard, lacking the safety features necessary to keep drivers safe from passing trains.
If you were harmed in a crossing accident, contact Arnold & Itkin LLP today at (888) 493-1629 for a free initial consultation. We’ve won billions for our clients, including numerous train accident victims. Share your story with us.