In March of this year, a 24 year old man was killed in Grant County Oklahoma when his pickup truck was struck on the tracks by an oncoming train. Although motor vehicle accidents involving trains are far less frequent than those involving another motor vehicle, the results are almost always fatal. Therefore, it is important that all motorists refresh themselves on how to safely operate a vehicle on and around train tracks. Here are a few rules to keep in mind when approaching train tracks:
- Do not linger on the tracks: It is common when a motorist is in heavy traffic to find him or herself inching along a snail’s pace. Although it may seem at the time that you hardly moving, it is important to pay attention to your surroundings. You do not want to find yourself stopped, with no place to go, on train tracks.
- Assume that a train cannot stop: Although the old saying implies that “assuming” is never a good thing assuming a train cannot stop is a good example of when it is safe to assume. When crossing train tracks, always assume that if a train comes through that it will not be able to stop in time to avoid hitting you, and take the necessary steps to avoid harm to yourself or your passengers.
- Trains move faster than you think: Other safe assumptions are to assume that the train is moving faster than you think and likewise that you are not faster than the train. Every year people are killed attempting to cross train tracks despite warnings that a train is approaching the crossing. These motorists often think that they are fast enough to cross the tracks before train reaches the crossing. Do not play this game of Russian roulette with your life and the lives of your passengers. Although it may cause you to be late in arriving to your destination to wait for a train to pass, remember that being on time to any event is not worth taking this gamble.
- Get out of the car!: If you find yourself in the very unfortunate situation where your vehicle has stalled on railroad tracks you need to act quickly. Although it may be tempting to spend a few minutes trying to determine why your vehicle has stalled, it is also the wrong decision. Your first priority should not be your car, but to get you and all of your passengers out of the car and off of the tracks safely. Once everyone is away from the tracks, contact your local law enforcement.
- Teach your children train safety early: It is difficult to find a small child who is not fascinated by trains. Although trains make a fun toy, trains and children do not mix. It is important as a parent to take each and every opportunity to teach your child that train tracks are not a safe place to play, even if they do not see a train coming or think they can move off the tracks fast enough to avoid an incoming train. Train tracks are also private property and your child could find him or herself in trouble for trespassing.
If you or a loved one was injured or killed in a train or automobile related accident, you need an experienced Oklahoma Personal Injury Attorney. Contact The Handley Law Center at (405) 295-1924 to schedule a free and completely confidential consultation. As an injury victim you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Trust the skilled injury attorneys at The Handley Law Center to provide with you excellent legal services both in and outside of the courtroom. The team of professionals at the Handley Law Center care about you and are determined to obtain the money you deserve.