Uptick in Railroad Crossing Fatalities Spurs Safety Ad Campaign
In an effort to reduce accidents and fatalities at railroad crossings around the country, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is investing $7 million in an ad campaign aimed at young male motorists. The campaign is intended to address people taking unnecessary risks by ignoring signage at crossings or attempting to beat a train. The message is simple: Stop! Trains Can’t.
Last year 232 people died in railroad crossing accidents. Approximately every three hours, a person or vehicle is hit by a train in the U.S. resulting in thousands of injuries each year.
Ohio is one of the states where the ads will run because Ohio has some of the nation’s most dangerous rail crossings and many crossing accidents occur here.
While by law, trains have the right of way because they can’t swerve, stop or quickly change course to avoid collision, that is not to say that railroads are never responsible for injuries and fatalities caused by train accidents.
Drivers approaching a rail crossing may be unable to see an approaching train if something like overgrown vegetation is blocking the view. Also, sometimes crossing signals or gates are improperly installed or maintained, or they are poorly marked or broken. Train companies are responsible to maintain crossing equipment and if they fail to do so, serious injury or death is certain.
In addition, injuries may occur when a train company fails to adequately protect their employees. If an injury or death occurs because the railroad company failed to provide adequate training, equipment, or safety conditions, the railroad company may be negligent and therefore responsible for failing to keep its employees safe.
While many railroad accidents are preventable by exercising caution at crossings, sometimes pedestrians and railroad workers are injured or killed due to the fault of the railroad company. If you or someone you know has been injured in a railroad accident, call Rinehardt Law Firm for a free consultation at 419-LAW-2020.