Valentine’s Day weekend began with unfortunate news of a deadly accident between a truck and a train that resulted in one death, according to Fox2Now. The collision occurred on Route 66 in Macoupin, Illinois, when a truck attempted to cross a railroad crossing while failing to yield to the oncoming train. This resulted in the train hitting the truck on the driver’s side. The driver survived the crash with serious injuries, but a passenger was pronounced dead at the scene.
Our attorneys cannot stress the importance of exercising extreme caution when operating any type of vehicle on or near railroad tracks. Train accidents can often be prevented if drivers are alert and aware of oncoming trains and never try to cross or go around gates if a train is approaching a crossing. Remember that you can never be too safe, and that doing so can save lives. No time saved by beating a train over the tracks is ever equal to the value of a life.
There are principles to remember for railroad safety, and the Illinois State University Police urge citizens to abide by these. First, remember to yield to trains. They generally always have the right of way because they are on a fixed rail, and unlike a car, cannot switch lanes or take a different route. Because they are so large, they cannot stop quickly to avoid a collision. Often, by the time the engineer can see a person or vehicle on the tracks, the engineer does not have enough time to stop the train. Second, use caution around railroad tracks at all times. Trains often travel at all times of the day and night. Freight trains are even more unpredictable than passenger trains, because they have a sporadic schedule that is never the same. For that reason, there is no time where we should not practice safety around tracks.
Train accidents can cause serious personal injuries, and are often deadly. Also according to the Illinois State Police, just the locomotive weights between 400,000 pounds (2 tons). When 100 cars are attached, the train as a whole can weigh in around 6,000 tons. To understand how extreme this size difference is and why train accidents are so severe, a car up against a train is about the same as a pop can to a car.
While in the accident described above it appears that the driver did not yield to the train, and that the train engineer and operating company were not negligent, it is equally important that railroad companies and their employees are also safe and avoid negligence. Similarly to how motorists owe a legal duty of care to not be the cause of injury to others on the road, train operators too must make sure that their trains are in working order and that employees and passengers are free from harm. If you have been injured as the result of a train accident, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries in a lawsuit. Contact our firm for a free consultation, and we may be able to help you with your case.