While everyone, motorists and pedestrians alike, must take care to stay out of harm’s way around trains, bicyclists have special issues with which to contend. Operation Lifesaver offers the following tips for bicyclists who want to stay safe when near train tracks:
- Only cross the tracks at designated crossings. Legal crossings have crossbucks, gates or flashing red lights.
- Walk, don’t ride, over railroad tracks. This helps prevent the bicycle’s wheels from getting stuck between the tracks. Also, tracks can be slippery, especially when wet, so step over them as you cross.
- Be on the lookout for a second train. Do not cross the tracks until you are sure all is clear in both directions.
- Take off the earphones when approaching a rail crossing. If you are listening to music, you may not be able to hear a train coming down the tracks.
Perhaps the most important tip of all is when you see a train approaching, wait for it to pass before crossing. This means do not proceed until all lights have stopped flashing and all gates are up. Trying to beat a train is simply not worth the risk of suffering a serious or fatal injury.
As a bicyclist, you know you have to do what you can to stay safe when in the vicinity of trains. Train companies have a duty to make sure that their vehicles and tracks are properly maintained to lessen the likelihood of accidents. The companies are also responsible for the actions of the train operators, who must all be properly trained for their jobs.
If you or a family member is ever harmed in a train accident, you will likely need money to pay for medical expenses. A California personal injury attorney could help you determine both the costs of these expenses as well as which parties may be responsible for the accident. The attorney could then help you take appropriate measures to secure compensation.