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Common Causes for Train Accidents

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Common Causes for Train Accidents

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There are a number of reasons why a train accident might happen. These can range from negligent drives at railroad crossings, to mechanical failures that keep safety measures in place. Either way, if you’ve found yourself in a train accident such as a derailment, it’s important to seek legal representation. Contact us today if you are looking for a Florida train derailment attorney.

Each case is unique, however there are a number of common causes including:

  • Human error
  • Negligence
  • Reckless drivers or pedestrians
  • Speeding trains or cars
  • Mechanical failure
  • Defective tracks
  • Unprotected railroad crossings
  • Stalled cars on the track
  • Suicides

1. Negligence

Negligence is a huge factor in train accidents. Negligence can come from several different groups, including drivers, the conductor, a railroad employee, or even the railway company itself.

2. Human Error

Human error is always a common factor in most accidents of any kind. In train accidents, conductors who are either inexperienced, or experienced but battling fatigue can all make mistakes that have huge consequences.

3. Reckless Pedestrians & Drivers

Train accidents aren’t always because of the train operator or company. Sometimes the cause can be from a pedestrian or driver acting recklessly. This can look like a distracted pedestrian too close to the tracks, a driver trying to beat the train by racing across the track, or a car being parked on the track.

4. Mechanical Failure

Railway employees, operators, and the company can take all of the precautions available and still have a train accident happen. Trains are large and complex machines that can deal with mechanical failure and defective parts that can result in an accident. If any piece of equipment fails, it can result in a deadly accident.

5. Speedy Trains

Reckless driving and fast speeds can cause numerous kinds of accidents and collisions.Trains are not exempt from this, and if not operated with safety and care can be dangerous. The faster the train, the worse a possible accident can be.

6. Defective Tracks

Foreign objects that find their way onto tracks can be very dangerous obstacles that make the track defective. Conductors are required to be aware of their surroundings, but if they miss an object in the way they may not have time to avoid a collision or derailment.

7. Derailments

Derailment is when a train runs off of the tracks. This could be due to a collision, mechanical failure, conductor error, and more. A derailment doesn’t always mean that the train leaves the tracks completely. Some of them can be minor, however if it is serious it can have catastrophic consequences.

8. Unprotected railroad crossings

Over 80% of railroad crossings do not have the necessary warning signs and devices to protect the railway. Accidents at these unprotected railway crossings are often caused by

  • Poor visibility
  • Driver distraction
  • Driver inebriation/intoxication
  • Driver attempting to race the train
  • Malfunctioning signals
  • Obstacles that block a driver’s view
  • Conductor failing to sound an alarm

9. Stalled cars on the track

Cars don’t often get stuck on railroad tracks. Instead, it’s more common when drivers stall out when they slow down to cross the bump grades because of poorly tuned engines. If this situation happens to you and there isn’t a train approaching, you first need to attempt to start your car again. If it doesn’t start again immediately, put it in neutral and push your car off of the tracks. If you can get assistance to make this process faster that’s even better. If there is a train approaching, always remember that your life is vastly more important than your vehicle. Getting you and anyone else in the car out and away is more important than trying to move the car when a train is approaching.

10. Suicides

The sad truth is there are people in our world that feel they cannot go on any longer. It is a heartbreaking reality that is finally being addressed and treated. However, this can also be a cause for train accidents. Feder statistics show us that 266 people committed suicide by standing on train tracks in 2017. When suicide on train tracks occur, it endangers numerous people including train crews, emergency responders, etc.

If you’ve found yourself in a train accident such as a derailment, it’s important to seek legal representation. Contact us today if you are looking for a Florida train derailment attorney.

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