There is a reason that, by law, a train always has the right of way. You are about 40 times more likely to die in a crash with a train than with another motor vehicle. People have been injured or killed because they thought they could beat the train. You can’t always count on the railroad crossing signals to be working, so look both directions to make sure a train is not approaching……You are about 40 times more likely to die in a crash with a train than with another motor vehicle. People have been injured or killed because they thought they could beat the train. You can’t always count on the railroad crossing signals to be working, so look both directions to make sure a train is not approaching……According to the Federal Railroad Administration, there were there were 2,105 collisions, 274 Fatalities and 807 injuries at railroad crossings in 2017, with 274 people killed. According to federal data, a person or vehicle is hit by a train in the United States approximately every three hours. Due to their sheer size trains appear to be slow, but they are deceptively fast. Technological advances have made railroad crossings them quiet and thus more difficult to detect. As a result, many drivers, thinking they have time, try to drive around the lowered gates or race across the tracks to try and beat the train. Nearly half of all car-train crashes occur at crossings where warning devices were active.
The Department of Transportation kicked off a new railroad crossing safety campaign on Friday with a striking new video. The ad, a collaborative effort between the Federal Railroad Administration and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, shows a freight train traveling through the outskirts of a city before crashing into the side of an SUV. The engineer appears to apply the brakes, but it cannot slow down quickly enough. The train travels some distance as the vehicle is violently dragged along the tracks.
The ad’s title is “Stop. Trains Can’t.”
It takes a freight train traveling at 55 mph a mile to come to a complete stop even with the emergency brake applied.
“Education is key here – sometimes a driver is distracted, or in an unfamiliar area. Other times, the state highway department has not done enough to warn drivers they are approaching a crossing,” said FRA Administrator Sarah E. Feinberg. “We must do everything we can to give drivers the information they need to keep themselves and their families safe – and this ad helps us do just that.”
The Department of Transportation is spending $7 million to run the ad, which targets males between the ages of 18 and 49 in the areas where railroad crossing accidents are particularly problematic.
The ads will run in California, Illinois, Texas, Louisiana, Indiana, Ohio, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Mississippi, New Jersey, Arkansas and Arizona.