Regardless of whether you live in the suburbs, a rural community or in the city, it is likely that you will cross railroad tracks with some frequency. You may not cross tracks in your every day commute, but most of us will be navigating over, under, and across railroad tracks, sometimes without even knowing it. Despite advances in technology and education to warn drivers of the potential danger of accidents, thousands of pedestrians, motorists, and cyclists are killed every year by moving trains. This New Year, residents of North and South Carolina should consider the very dangerous nature of railroad crossings and follow the law and common sense to stay safe.
If you have grown up in the vicinity of trains, you may already have an inherent understanding of how the system works and how to stay safe. Still, we should never take for granted the possibility that we are in danger near train tracks. Our Spartanburg personal injury attorneys are experienced with representing victims of train accidents and other road collisions. In addition to helping victims recover compensation, we are committed to raising awareness to improve safety in communities throughout North and South Carolina.
When testing for a driver’s license, you likely studied how to approach a railroad, look for signals, listen for a train, and to cross tracks carefully. You may also remember that you should never stop or wait on tracks, especially if you are stuck in traffic. There are other laws and traffic regulations applicable to bus drivers, pedestrians and cyclists, but the theme remains the same: stay away from tracks and be wary if you must travel over or near them.
State and federal legislators, law enforcement agencies and even train companies have developed ways to warn and signal to drivers when a train is coming. Unfortunately, drivers should also remember that these technologies and signals can fail. If you are approaching tracks, you should assume that the crossing signal will come down to stop you.
Every day, train engineers approach traffic intersections and must slow down to avoid collisions with trucks and other motorists on the road. In some instances, engineers are traveling at a manageable speed and can avoid an accident. In other cases, trains do not have time to stop, even if they are only traveling at 35 mph. With the size and speed of a moving train, engineers are often unable to stop at an intersection creating deadly hazards for other motorists, passersby and any passengers aboard the train.
In addition to technologies to stop cars from crossing a track, law enforcement officials can also hand out citations to vehicles that do not follow signals or to pedestrians who cross the tracks after barriers are down. Citations can be issued for pedestrians who run across the tracks, cyclists who wait on the wrong side of the barriers, and even residents who cross with a lawnmower at the wrong time. In any case, these citations are intended to remind pedestrians, cyclists and drivers to follow the law and to be wary of the dangers of railroad crossings.
If you or a loved one has been injured, contact the Carolina injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices today by calling 800-887-1965.
More Blog Entries:
Are Hands-Free Devices the Answer to the Distracted Driving Problem?, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, April 6, 2013
Teenager Killed at Carolina School Bus Stop, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, March 29, 2013