What should I do if my car gets stuck on railroad tracks?

Railroad crossings should always be approached and crossed with care. Previously on this blog we posted a story about a truck driver whose tractor-trailer stalled on some railroad tracks. As a train approached his vehicle, the truck driver attempted to signal the train’s operator to halt the train. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the train was unable to stop in time and collided with the 18-wheeler.

The truck driver’s attempt to have the train stop may have been a normal reaction to the situation, but it was not likely to alter the outcome. Trains are large, powerful vehicles and it takes them a long time to cease forward momentum. It is possible that a train, while engaging its emergency brakes, could travel more than a mile before coming to a stop.

But what should a driver and passengers do if such an occasion does arise? Here are some very important safety tips that can help to keep you safe when your car will not budge from the tracks:

  • If a train is bearing down, get all passengers out of the car as quickly as possible. Do not bother with personal effects.
  • Run toward the train while angling away from the tracks. Upon impact, the train will send glass and metal debris flying. This debris could badly injure or even kill a person.
  • If your car is stuck, but there is no train on the way, contact the railroad to inform them of the situation. Look for signs at the crossing that have a toll-free number that you can use.

As mentioned earlier, there can be different reasons that you might find your car stuck on the tracks of a crossing. You may have been hit by another vehicle, or there could have been some hazard near or on the tracks that damaged your car.

Regardless of the specific cause, a car-train accident can have devastating consequences. If you are ever in such an accident, a California attorney may be able to carry out an investigation and help you be compensated for related expenses.

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