The train was going too fast. That’s all it boils down to. After the May 12th, 2015 Amtrak crash left seven dead and over two-hundred injured, there was a huge push by the media to figure out just went wrong. Countless experts were consulted, and the federal government and state government both opened investigations. But the initial eyewitness reports were all that was needed to know what went wrong. The train was going too fast.
Railway systems are designed by experienced engineers, and one of the questions the engineers must answer is the maximum safe speed a train can travel on the tracks. Higher speeds work on straightaways, but whenever a turn is involved, the risk of momentum carrying the train off-track is increased.
On May 12th, the Amtrak train was reportedly traveling at speeds of 100 mph, twice the safe limit for that section of track. There were a number of safety oversights that led to this accident, as it is impossible to believe this was the first time the driver had gone too fast. Those oversights include:
- Having no system in place to monitor the speeds of trains
- Having no electronic system to override manual acceleration to unsafe speeds
- Having no schedule in place to note that trips were being completed much more quickly than would be possible if safe speeds were maintained
There are dozens of systems that, if properly implemented, would have caught the fact speeding was occurring on this route. None of these systems were in place, and now seven people are dead. Sadly, Philadelphia is not the only city lacking these type of safety systems. Many of our trains and public transit systems don’t have proper protocols in place to make sure that drivers are putting safety first.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a train or mass transit accident, it is important you contact a qualified attorney as soon as you can. Caring for the injured is an expensive endeavor, and those who were negligent should help you with those costs. Only an experienced lawyer can help you get the compensation you are entitled to.