Concluding the two-part blog Railroad Crossing Motor Vehicle Accidents, below, we continue our discussion by taking a look at some of the recent railroad crossing accident statistics that have been put together by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).
According to the FRA:
- When a train collides with a passenger vehicle, the force of the impact generally has the same effects as when a passenger vehicle runs into (or over) an aluminum soda can.
- Railroad crossing motor vehicle accidents are about 20 more likely to result in fatalities than traffic accidents that involve two (or more) passenger vehicles.
- Of all of the different types of train accidents (such as, for example, derailments, trains colliding with other trains and railroad crossing car accidents – which may also referred to as highway-rail incidents by the FRA), highway-rail incidents account for about 95 percent of all train accident deaths, despite the fact they only account for about 18 percent of all train accident incidents.
- While human error reportedly plays a role in causing approximately 38 percent of all train accidents, track defects are the second most prominent cause of these types of collisions.
- The number of railroad crossing car accidents seems to be decreasing over recent years; however, the resulting deaths and injuries have remained relatively consistent. This is evidenced by the following:
- In 2013, there were 1,870 highway-rail incidents in the U.S.
- In 2012, there were 1,967 railroad crossing motor vehicle accidents reported in the U.S.
- In 2011, there were 2,060 railroad crossing motor vehicle accidents in the U.S.
- Despite the fact that the number of railroad crossing car accidents reported in the U.S. in recent years has consistently dropped by nearly 100 from 2012 to 2013 (and from 2011 to 2012), the number of deaths resulting from the accidents has been steadily reported to be about 270 for 2011, 2012 and 2013.
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