Pedestrians and passenger vehicles overmatched by trains

It is always heartening to see public officials address a known safety issue involving the state's mass transit system. A couple of weeks ago we posted about an Orange County supervisor and his interest in decreasing the number of train-related injuries and fatalities in California.

The supervisor's concern is well founded as train accidents involving pedestrians or motor vehicles happen with regularity. In fact, in the U.S., a person or a vehicle is hit by a train around every three hours. What follows are some other train accident facts that demonstrate the dangers presented by trains:

  • Typically, a train's weight will be equal to the combined weight of 4,000 automobiles.
  • The force exerted by a train when crushing a car is the same as the force exerted by a car when crushing a soda can.
  • Most of the time, a train is not exceeding 30 miles per hour when involved in a highway-rail collision.
  • There is a 40 times greater likelihood that a motorist will die in a train-related collision than die in a crash which involves another vehicle.

As these facts clearly demonstrate, no person or automobile is a match for a train. Any sort of collision with one of these mammoth vehicles is almost certain to result in serious or fatal injuries. Therefore, rail companies must be vigilant in exercising their duty of care for those of us who come into the proximity of their tracks and trains. This means that tracks and trains should be properly maintained so as to minimize the chances of catastrophe.

Should you or a member of your family suffer harm caused by a train, a California attorney could possibly help you get compensation that will help cover medical and other associated expenses.


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