Are New Jersey’s Railroad Crossings Safe?

Posted on March 20, 2017 at 12:00pm by

Photo of familyIn early March, a deadly collision between a tour bus and a train made headlines nationwide and has many people wondering: are railroad crossings dangerous? According to ABC News, the railroad crossing where the bus-train crash took place has a history of accidents between trains and vehicles, including two already this year.

A National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) official speaking with ABC News about the train wreck said that in the past, larger vehicles, such as 18 wheelers and buses, have had issues with the railroad crossing where the incident happened. The NTSB official said that the area where the road crosses the tracks is steep, leading to the bottom of vehicles scraping against the ground and even becoming stuck. Reportedly, prior to the train crashing into the bus, the vehicle was stuck on the railroad tracks for around five minutes. As of this writing, investigators had still not named an official cause of the crash, which injured 40 and claimed the lives of four.

Tips to Stay Safe at Railroad Crossings

The State of New Jersey’s Department of Law & Public Safety released a list of rail crossing safety tips, including but not limited to the following:

  • Whenever you approach a railroad crossing, always expect a train to be passing through.
  • Never ignore flashing lights or drive around lowered crossing gates at railroad crossings.
  • If your car gets stuck at a railroad crossing or stalls on the tracks, exit the vehicle immediately, get far away from the railroad tracks and call 911.
  • Do not stop on the tracks.
  • Remember that trains cannot stop quickly. For example, if a train is going 80 mph, it can take it around 2,200 feet to stop, which is the equivalent of seven football fields.

The attorneys and staff at our New Jersey injury law firm have decades of experience helping the victims of motor vehicle accidents in Cape May and Atlantic City bring those responsible for their pain and suffering to justice. To learn more about train and bus wrecks or how we can help you, visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

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