While people often assume that train accidents are a thing of the past, the statistics paint a very different story. According to the Federal Railroad Administration, an average of 11,000 train accidents happen every year across the United States. In Oklahoma alone, where we have nearly 3,700 rail crossings, there were more than 780 major railroad accidents in 2015.
The results of a train accident can be catastrophic, for the obvious reason that trains are the largest land vehicles accessible by the public. The enormous force and power it takes to get a train running can also cause devastating injuries for unwary car drivers, pedestrians in the tracks, or truck drivers passing through.
At Martin, Jean & Jackson, our Oklahoma train accident lawyers can provide counsel and aggressive advocacy when you need to recover from serious injuries. By taking a few simple safety precautions, however, you may be able to mitigate the risk of a tragic railroad accident and avoid the long-term injuries that will most likely follow.
Here are some of the best ways to avoid a train accident:
- Always pause to look both ways before every railroad crossing.
- Don’t wait for a sound to alert you to a passing train: Modern trains move much more quietly than their predecessors.
- Stop at least 15 full feet away at a railroad crossing, if the gate is lowered and signals indicate the train is approaching.
- Don’t assume that the trains will run on a specific set schedule, as these can change radically from day-to-day.
- Keep in mind that even at 50 miles per hour, it could take the train nearly a full mile to arrive at a complete stop, due to its massive size.
- Never play around on or walk down the train tracks. It’s not just dangerous, it’s trespassing too!
- Stay away from your phone and other distracting devices as you approach a railroad, whether on foot or driving.
- Don’t assume that the track is no longer being used. If you see rails, it’s still possible for a train to come through.
- Don’t ever attempt to race or “beat” the train.
- Remember that trains always have the right of way, even over pedestrians.
Were you injured in a train accident? Contact our compassionate legal team at for a free consultation on your case.