Lack of communication between trucks and trains creates danger
When a vehicle gets stuck on the tracks of a railroad crossing, the potential for injuries and damage cannot be underestimated. Should a train collide with a vehicle, not only is that vehicle almost certain to be destroyed, but there is the threat that the train may derail as well. If the train in question happens to be a passenger train, then all who are on board are in serious danger.
A recent Amtrak train accident in North Carolina which resulted in the injury of 55 people is currently under scrutiny. According to a witness, the incident occurred after a truck driver had difficulty negotiating an extremely large tractor trailer over the railroad tracks. Eventually, the crossing arms lowered and the driver abandoned the truck just before the crash.
Currently at issue is lack of coordination between train and truck operators. Federal regulators say that in the U.S., trucks are involved in train crossing accidents around 10 times per week. Still, no one is accountable for seeing that railroads are made aware of when trucks are in the vicinity of crossings.
For 47 years, the National Transportation Safety Board has made recommendations for preventing such rail crossing accidents. But the NTSB is not authorized to implement rules in this regard. So it appears for the time being, the problem of train crossing accidents involving tractor trailers will continue.
But when such accidents do occur and people are injured as a result, it is important to determine liability. If you are injured in a train crossing accident, you may be in need of compensation to help cover your medical expenses.
A California personal injury attorney may be able to help you in dealing with insurance companies. The attorney could also offer advice regarding a possible civil lawsuit.
Source: Omaha.com, "Plenty of blame but little coordination, cooperation between truck, train operators to avoid crashes," March 28, 2015