When we say something is “bearing down like a freight train,” the meaning is quite clear. The image of a train is often invoked to describe a frightening, unstoppable force. The reason for this is obvious; trains are powerful vehicles that once in motion, do not stop easily.

This is why we must always approach railroad tracks with caution. Trains are not designed to take sharp turns; they are only capable of veering as the track dictates. This means that if you are ever in the path of a moving train, it will make no accommodation to avoid striking you, beyond sounding a warning signal.

It may seem like it would be easy to avoid being an accident with a train. However, this is not always true. For one thing, a train can derail when traveling on damaged or broken sections of track.

It is also possible for warning systems at railroad crossings and at commuter rail stops to malfunction or fail to work. When this occurs, pedestrians and motorists in the vicinity may not be properly alerted to the fact that a train is headed their way.

And as we wrote about recently on this blog, it is possible for combustible materials being transported by rail, such as crude oil, to explode. When this happens, the damage could extend for blocks.

Trains of all types, be they passenger, freight or oil, serve valuable transportation functions. But in certain circumstances they can cause serious or even fatal injuries. It is the responsibility of those who run the trains and maintain the tracks and warning systems to do all they can to minimize potential hazards.

If you ever come to harm in a train accident, you may want to look into visiting with a personal injury attorney. The Frantz Law Group handles cases involving serious injuries and wrongful death. More information on their services can be found on this page of our website.