Train–Vehicle Accidents May Be More Common than You Think

Most people never even consider that they could possibly be hit by a train while driving. But the fact is that there are nearly 6,000 train-vehicle accidents in the U.S. every year. Following are a number of tips to help ensure that you avoid putting yourself in danger of being hit by a train while driving.

Never Race the Train – As crazy as it sounds, many accidents are still caused by people trying to “race” a train to get across the tracks before the train passes. Don’t even think about it – just slow down, stop and wait for the train to pass.

Stop at the Gates – Train crossing gates are there for a very good reason. Even if there is no train in sight, you should never drive around the crossbars. It’s just not worth the risk.

Stuck on the tracks? Run! – If your vehicle is stuck on railroad tracks and a train is coming, just get out and move a safe distance away. Don’t keep trying to start the engine. Don’t put it in neutral and try to push your car off the tracks. Your vehicle is replaceable – your life is not.

Trains Can’t Stop Quickly – A freight train traveling at 55 miles per hour takes about one mile to stop. Think about that. There’s NO WAY a train you see coming can stop before it hits your vehicle.

Stop for Vehicles – Be aware that certain vehicles – like school buses, commercial buses and trucks carrying hazardous materials – are required by law to come to a complete stop at railroad tracks. Never try to pass these vehicles while they’re stopping at train tracks.