Are Train Accidents Becoming More Common?
Many Chicago residents rely on trains as their main way of commuting to work and other destinations. Often when there’s an accident, it’s because of human error, including the train operator’s negligence, negligent maintenance of the train or crossing gates, or negligent maintenance of the tracks. Unfortunately, train accidents result in serious injuries and fatalities which could have been prevented if the negligent party had acted responsibly.
When you’re dealing with a train accident claim, you need trusted legal professionals who will make sure your rights are protected. A Chicago train accident lawyer from the Krzak Rundio Law Group will stand up for you and vigorously represent your interests make sure your rights are protected and your goals achieved.
Illinois Train Accident Casualties
Train wrecks or derailments can cause devastating injuries to those involved. This includes the passengers on the train, homes and businesses near a derailment site and innocent bystanders in the vicinity of the tracks. Trains are heavy and travel at high speeds, often resulting in catastrophic physical injuries or fatalities.
In the current media and social media world we live in, train crashes quickly become high profile news stories. In the wake of a tragedy, we often see train accident/derailment headlines streaming across our the internet, social media and television. This raises an important question — Are train accidents occurring more often than before?
According to the Federal Railroad Administration Office of Safety Analysis, the following statistics are the numbers of fatalities and injuries in Illinois train accidents over the past four years:
Fatalities by Year
- 2018: 21 fatalities.
- 2017: 26 fatalities.
- 2016: 24 fatalities.
- 2015: 21 fatalities.
Nonfatalities by Year
- 2018: 284 injuries.
- 2017: 304 injuries.
- 2016: 306 injuries.
- 2015: 393 injuries.
The fatalities this year are less than last year, but the year is not over, and the numbers are relatively close. Assuming there are no more train wrecks or derailments this year, there will be slightly less injuries and fatalities than there were in 2017 and 2016, but the drop from 2015 is significant.
After viewing these statistics, it seems that we aren’t seeing a major rise in accidents or fatalities, but the numbers themselves are still impactful and we should do everything we can, as a city and nation overall, to minimize the number of train wrecks that occur.
Maximize Your Safety Around Trains
While there are other external factors that cause train accidents like mistakes made by the conductor, mechanical or electrical failures, or a faulty track, there are steps you can take as a motorist or pedestrian to improve your safety and lessen the likelihood of being involved in a train accident.
Knowing how to stay safe around train tracks will help you and others around you navigate train tracks without worry or issue:
Train Safety Tips
- Stay Off Tracks. Never go on train tracks. Some may think it’s good for a photograph, but hanging around on train tracks is extremely dangerous. Also, most tracks are private property. Walking on the tracks is technically trespassing. It’s a misconception that trains will be able to see you and stop in time to avoid hurting you. Trains take an incredibly long time to come to a full stop.
- Anticipate Trains at Railroad Crossings and Intersections. When you’re crossing a railroad, never assume that there isn’t a train nearby. Look for the crossing signals but also look both ways to make sure the tracks are clear before crossing. Even if you think you know the train schedule, some trains can be delayed or don’t adhere to a specific schedule that you’ll know about.
- Right of Way. Always give trains right of way. Trying to beat a train across the tracks could end up in a severe side collision.
- Cross at Designated Crossing Areas Only. Railroads that intersect highways and other roads have set crossing areas so motorists and pedestrians can cross the tracks safely. It’s dangerous to cross tracks at undesignated areas.
- Pay Attention. It’s imperative that you remain alert when you’re near train tracks. If you’re operating a motor vehicle, you should already be alert so you’re in control of it. Pedestrians should also take measures to remain alert as well. This goes for listening to music or not paying attention to the tracks because you’re looking down at your phone. Anything that distracts you from the tracks could result in you not noticing a train coming and you could be involved in an accident.
Get Help from a Chicago Train Accident Lawyer
Being involved in a train accident can cause setbacks and frustration. At Krzak Rundio Law Group, we can help you with your claim. Get in touch with us today for a free consultation of your case.
Most Common Causes of Train Derailments