Like intersections, railroad crossings can be particularly dangerous areas for motorists, as the convergence of trains with motor vehicles can have devastating results if:
- Motorists aren’t paying attention or aren’t familiar with how to respond when railroads are approaching.
- Any part of the indicators associated with alerting motorists of oncoming trains aren’t working properly and/or are obscured.
- The components of the railroads and/or their tracks aren’t functioning properly.
Here and in a forthcoming second part of this blog, we will take an in-depth look at some of the most common causes of railroad crossing motor vehicle accidents, including some fascinating statistics regarding the prevalence of these collisions.
Causes of Railroad Crossing Motor Vehicle Accidents
While any number of factors can contribute to motor vehicles getting into serious accidents at railroad crossings, the following are some of the most commonly reported causes (according to the Federal Railroad Administration):
- Failure of motorists to obey traffic laws at railroad crossings
- Drivers being intoxicated, distracted and/or fatigued and, as a result, not noticing and/or appropriately responding to indications that trains are approaching
- Inexperience on the part of engineers or other railroad personnel (which could result in them failing to follow proper procedures when approaching or passing through railroad crossings)
- Failure of guardrails and/or warning lights to work properly when trains approach crossings
- Vehicle equipment failures – like brake failures or tire blowouts – that may leave cars or trucks stuck on railroad tracks when trains are approaching
- Heavy fog, heavy rain or other adverse weather conditions that can obscure motorists’ abilities to see guardrails, warning signals and other indicators of approaching trains.
In the event that some type of human error plays a role in causing a railroad crossing traffic accident, injured parties (as well as families who have lost a loved one in these types of accidents) will likely be entitled to compensation for their injuries and losses.
Check out the upcoming second part of this blog for some railroad crossing motor vehicle accident statistics.
Littleton Car Accident Attorneys
If you have been injured in or have lost a loved one in a truck accident, car accident or in any type of traffic accident, you are encouraged to consult with the motor vehicle accident lawyers at the Law Office of Mike Hulen, PC. Meeting with one of our esteemed attorneys as soon as your health is stabilized can ensure that you ultimately have the strongest case possible, as waiting will start immediately running out the statute of limitations for your case and could even result in the loss of critical evidence.
Our trusted Littleton personal injury and accident attorneys have a proven track record of successfully handling car accident cases, wrongful death suits and other types of personal injury lawsuits, and we are experienced at helping victims and their families secure the maximum possible settlement for their losses. We encourage those who think they may have a claim to meet with us for a free initial consult to learn more about their legal rights and to receive a thorough evaluation of their case. Call us at (303) 932-8666 to get your case started at no upfront cost.