Our attorneys cannot stress enough that railroad tracks and train crossings are places in which we should never cease to be vigilant and safe. These are never locations where our attention can slip or where we can bend the rules. When motorists and pedestrians act negligently near railroad tracks or crossings they endanger the lives of themselves and others around them and serious accidents can occur. Trains always have the right of way at these designated crossings and cannot stop quickly, even in the case of an emergency, because they travel at high speeds. If lights are flashing and gates are down, this means a train is near and motorists should use caution.
Even through frequent safety campaigns, warning signs posted, and laws on the books, train accidents unfortunately still frequently happen when people are negligent and ignore the rules. In a recent article by the Chicago Tribune, a semitrailer blocked railroad tracks and was struck by an oncoming Chicago bound Amtrak train in southwest Wilmington, located 14 miles south of the Joliet train station. As a result of the collision, 10 people were taken to area hospitals, according to Wilmington police. Due to the impact of the collision, the train’s cargo of 70,000 pounds of bacon was strewn across the ground near the tracks. The truck’s cab also separated from the trailer and ended up on the other side of the train. Twenty minutes after the accident occurred, passengers were told to leave the train and learned about the accident.