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Car vs. Train Accidents: An Overview

Posted on January 9, 2014 in
Duncan Law Group

A Chicago passenger train collided with an unmarked police car Tuesday. The incident occurred when the squad car became lodged on the railroad tracks after swerving to avoid another vehicle. The driver exited his vehicle before the collision and none of the passengers were injured.

Many train accident survivors are not this lucky. In fact, Operation Lifesaver®, an organization dedicated to rail safety education, stated that 273 people were killed in car / train accidents in 2012 alone. This estimation excludes the 946 additional injuries suffered by train and car passengers in nearly
2,000 collisions.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), vehicle passengers are 20 times more likely to die in an accident that involves a train than an accident with another motor vehicle.

What makes a car / train accident so dangerous?

The size, weight, and limited maneuverability of a freight train heighten the possibility of a fatal accident. In fact, the force of a 30-car freight train hitting a passenger vehicle is equivalent to a medium-sized car hitting an aluminum can of pop.

Safety Tips to Avoid Train Accidents

  • Always stay alert when crossing the tracks. Trains move faster than you think, and take the length of 18 football fields to stop.
  • Never drive around a lowered gate. If the cat is malfunctioning, call a law enforcement agency.
  • Remember:
    Trains are three feet wider than the tracks on both sides. Only cross the tracks if you have enough room.
  • If your car stops on the tracks, exit the vehicle, move away from the tracks, and quickly move in the opposite direction that the train is traveling avoid debris.

Remember: It is never safe to stop within 15 feet of the a railroad track.

Train Accidents and Personal Injury Lawsuits in Chicago

If you were injured in an avoidable train accident and believe that someone else’s negligence is responsible for your damages, speak with a train accident attorney from Duncan Law Group. We are a full-service personal injury law firm with the skill and experience to handle complicated injury lawsuits, including train accident cases.

Injured? Know your rights –Contact a Chicago lawyer now.