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Railroad accidents: a guide

When we think about accidents that occur on roadways, it is common to think about two cars colliding. However, train accidents occur more common often than you may realize. In 2017, there were over 2,000 railroad-crossing collisions.


What are the most common types of accidents?

The most common types of accidents happen when a train and car collide, or a train and pedestrian collide. Many accidents occur in train crossing accidents, when a train collides with a car that is in the middle of crossing the tracks. More half of accidents including a train and car happen at the railroad crossing. Other types of accidents include:

  • Mechanical failure
  • Derailing
  • Too much cargo
  • Improper maintenance of either train or tracks

Who can be hurt by a train accident?

  • Bystanders: Bystanders can include pedestrians who were struck by a passing train and cars that are hit by an oncoming train. Individuals who are in this situation are the most commonly injured.
  • Passengers: Passengers on a train are often thought of as fairly safe, but incidents do happen. Trains can injure passengers while making a quick stop or when individuals are getting on and off the train.
  • Workers: The environment that railroad workers are in everyday can be dangerous, which is why injuries happen often. Common injuries include electrocution and falling off a moving train.

It can be frightening to think about getting struck by an oncoming train. However, knowing the types of accidents and how they occur can help you avoid them.

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