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We often think of the roads as the most dangerous part of a city. Drunk or distracted drivers, speeding, vehicle malfunctions and genuine accidents can all put the lives of drivers and passengers in jeopardy.

However, railways can have all of these problems, too. These types of accidents can be especially lethal because trains are so powerful. Like drivers of personal vehicles, train engineers may be at fault for serious damage in a crash.

In fact, the Federal Railroad Administration found that human error was the leading cause of train accidents in 2015. This statistic may or may not include the mistakes of the victims along with the mistakes and negligence of train engineers.

Examples of these human errors are similar to well-known roadway errors, including:

  • Speeding or failing to slow in designated areas
  • Operating while fatigued
  • Operating while drunk, high or on certain medications
  • Failing to follow standard procedures

Unfortunately, you may have heard stories about these tragic accidents. Railroad crossings can be particularly dangerous for Washington residents, so we encourage everyone to follow traffic laws and look both ways down the tracks before crossing safely. Many trains do not sound horns. Cyclists and pedestrians should wait until the coast is completely clear and crossing arms have fully risen.

Whether you or your loved one was a pedestrian, riding a bike, in a vehicle or on another train at the time of crash, you can discuss legal action with your lawyer. Not many people realize that train engineers have just as much responsibility as any other driver to follow the law and safety guidelines.