Nationwide, train vs. pedestrian accidents have increased 26 percent during the first part of 2013 with deaths close to 200 in number. Considering all the warnings and remote areas where trains run, it may seem surprising to some that the number of deaths and injuries is so high. After all, can’t we see a train coming for miles and have ample time to get out of harm’s way? Not so. Here are some reasons why.
Walking along a train track can pose numerous problems, including being confined in areas where there are narrow walls, narrow bridges, or barely enough room for the the train to fit, much less extra room for someone walking along the side to get off the tracks. There may be nowhere to go by the time someone sees a train coming. An incident like that poses a problem for the conductor who does his best to forewarn the possible victim and anyone else as early as possible whenever there is an obstacle in the road. Many trains run well over 100 miles per hour on tracks specifically designed to accelerate the speed. Slowing a train down is not easy: sudden stops could cause derailment, as could hitting something on the track. Easing to a slower stop still might not make the train stop quickly enough to avoid an object or person on the tracks or in the way.
Train tracks are enticing for people to follow and many walking trails are now constructed along abandoned tracks. All tracks lead somewhere, and most tracks provide shortcuts in denser area or remote locations so that a person doesn’t have to walk along the side of a more populated road. But, railroad tracks are private property, either owned by the railroad company or the government. Therefore, if a person is hit or injured by a train, there is the possibility of a trespass issue at hand, as well.
Trains and pedestrian accidents are horrifying and almost always result in a debilitating injury. If you have been hit by a train, or how someone who was involved in a commuter or national train accident, seeking an attorney who is best suited for personal injury cases is your first step, as many may have multiple parties involved depending on what type of train, where the accident occurred, and the condition of both the conductor and engineer.
It’s not the safest route to assume that you will see train coming for miles. What is important is the train might not see you. Always be cautious and alert, whether you are driving, biking or walking, even in remote areas.