Recent data shows that car-train collisions are expected to rise.

Recent data shows that car-train collisions are expected to rise.

Historically, car-train collisions have been on the decline, but recent statistics from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) show an increase nationally in these numbers. In fact, recent FRA data indicates that someone in the U.S. is hurt in a train accident every three hours or so. While various factors can contribute to train crashes, one of these factors may not be that surprising – distracted driving due to smart phones and electronic devices.

Take Michigan, for instance: from 2013 to 2014, the number of fatalities involved in car and train collisions was up nearly 35 percent. This finding seems to suggest that safety measures and regulations can’t compete with drivers who try to multitask and text on their electronic devices while driving.

Nationally, fatalities associated with these crashes increased 19 percent, jumping up from 231 in 2013 to 267 in 2014. Sadly, most of these deaths are preventable.

While injuries and fatalities appear to be on the decline with respect to car and train collisions, the number of collisions themselves has remained steady since 2007. The following table highlights these trends.

Year Collisions Fatalities Injuries
2007 2,776 339 1,062
2008 2,429 290 992
2009 1,934 249 743
2010 2,051 260 887
2011 2,061 250 1,045
2012 1,985 230 975
2013* 2,098 232 972
2014* 2,287 269 849

*Preliminary figures from the FRA

How to Avoid a Crash with a Train

Although there’s a lot to be aware of when driving, being especially careful around train crossings is essential. Never play chicken with a train! It’s no contest – the train will win every time. Likewise, never try and beat a train to a crossing.

The key to staying alive around trains is simple:

  • Be aware and stay focused.
  • Don’t try and be sneaky and drive around railroad crossing barriers.
  • Use all your senses to stay safe: Stop, look, and listen!

Keys to Preventing Train Wrecks

The data associated with train wrecks has not gone unnoticed by lawmakers and regulators. In fact, there is plenty of legislation being entered into Congress, calling for enhanced safety regulations to mitigate some of the dangers associated with train transportation, including:

  • Hazardous material spills – As more and more flammable liquids are transported on U.S. roads, the risk for more dangerous accidents and fatalities tends to increase.
  • Crashes involving fire
  • Derailments.

Contact a Boulder Car Accident Lawyer at Cederberg Law

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car-train accident – or if you have lost a loved one in a motor vehicle accident, contact a Boulder car accident lawyer at Cederberg Law to find out more about your best options for financial recovery.

Call us at 303-499-0449 or email us via the contact to meet with us at no cost or obligation to you. In addition to offering free initial consults and contingency fee options, our lawyers make hospital visits to ensure that you have access to the legal support you need – whenever you need it.