When most people think of a train collision, they envision a train derailing or a car that is stuck on the tracks and hit by an oncoming train. However, trucks can also be involved in accidents with trains as well. When two especially large vehicles collide, this can create a serious accident, involving personal injuries of great severity, as well as heavy roadside and rail cleanup and repair.
This past week, such a collision occurred between a semi-truck and an Amtrak train on Union Pacific railroad tracks, according to kmov.com. Thankfully, only two passengers were injured, and their injuries were not serious. Officials have stated that the accident happened because the semi-truck got stuck in the snow and ice at the train crossing. Due to the recent heavy snow and freezing conditions in the Midwest, snow had become packed and frozen onto the tracks.
It is important that all drivers, including trains and motor vehicles, exercise caution when operating their vehicles on or around railroad tracks. According to Operation Lifesaver, an organization dedicated to rail safety, the number of railroad passengers has been on the rise and is predicted to continue to grow. For instance, freight transportation is expected to doubly by 2035, and railroads will be expected to handle an 88% increase in tonnage during the same period. Amtrak, a long distance passenger train, has now seen record levels of 31.2 million passengers for 2012, and these numbers could reach 60 million by 2050.
Each day thousands of trains travel throughout Illinois, so it is important for our readers to understand what they can do to prevent accidents with trains. When approaching tracks, it is important to use caution, such as staying far back when a pedestrian or when a driver, looking before crossing tracks and making sure to obey the warning lights and guard rails when they are down. Never go around guard rails when they are down. Just because you do not see an oncoming train does not mean that one is not quickly approaching.
Railroad operators should be committed to keeping passengers, pedestrians, and drivers safe and free from injuries as well. If you believe you have been injured in an accident with a commuter, freight, or passenger train, you may be able to obtain justice through our legal system. For instance, if a guard rail did not lower, or a warning light not go off, you may be able to hold the railroad operator liable for your injuries. Our firm has been assisting accident victims through the legal process for over 20 years. Call us for a free consultation, and we can help you determine if you have a legal cause of action.