Trains Versus Vehicles: You Can Always Bet Right

Jim Luff
Posted on June 24, 2015
This is the reason why commercial drivers and vehicles must stop at ALL railroad crossings. The end result is always catastrophic. Considering that a locomotive, all by itself, without the weight of any cars being towed can easily be around 200 tons.  Putting that into perspective, that's 400,000 pounds! Add some box cars behind it and the average freight train is about 26 million pounds coming at you.


Surprisingly, train and vehicle accidents are more common than you think. In fact, in 2014, there were 2,280 collisions between trains and vehicles. That's an average of six accidents every single day of the year!

Do NOT feel safe crossing railroad tracks simply because the cross-arm isn't down, the lights are flashing and the bell isn't ringing. It is NOT safe! Have you ever had a vehicle fail to start for you? Anything mechanical is subject to a failure and blasting though a rail crossing without checking and double checking is an unnecessary risk!  The results of a false assumption can kill you in an instant.

When you see a track in your path, check both ways as far as the eye can see. If you can't clearly see the track both ways, stop and check before you cross. If the people behind you honk, just know that the few seconds you took to check possibly saved their lives as well.  It's a good deed for them, you and your passengers.

Related Topics: accident reduction, accidents, chauffeur behavior, chauffeur training, driver behavior, driver safety, driver training, Jim Luff, passenger safety, Safety, Shop Talk blog

Jim Luff Contributing Editor
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