Unfortunately, Pennsylvania hasn’t had the best history when it comes to railroads. Nearly every year, the state ranks high when it comes to vehicular accidents with trains. 2018 was no exception, as the Preliminary 2018 Federal Railroad Administration Statistics reveal that the Keystone State had 41 total pedestrian rail trespass casualties, which was the 6th highest in the nation.
Drivers are more often than not responsible for their own unfortunate outcomes on the railroad tracks. Train operators can only do so much to prevent themselves from crashing into a vehicle on their path. Despite the amount of warning signs present on hundreds of these crossings, many drivers don’t want to wait minutes for the train to pass before they can move on. This mentality recently led to a tragic incident that should serve as a warning to drivers that get too restless near these dangerous sites.
Following the leader
On April 8, a train from the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority crashed into a car on the tracks in Lansdowne. The engineer managed to apply the brakes in time to prevent the train from derailing and putting 300 passengers at risk. However, the female driver that got hit later died of her injuries.
Officials confirmed that the gates were down at the time of the crash. The woman saw two other drivers go around the gates and followed them to meet her eventual demise.
A bad influence
This is far from the only time an incident like this has happened in Pennsylvania. Drivers get overconfident in their ability to beat the train and pay the ultimate price. Closed gates exist for a reason. Even if there is another way to go around them, you should not risk doing so unless you want to come face to face with a vehicle that is faster and much heavier than yours. You should not ignore these safety protocols just so you can avoid being late to work.
Reckless drivers can put more than just themselves at risk when they try to cross the railroads early. They could end up derailing the train and injure hundreds of people and the operators. The debris from the crash could hurt nearby vehicles and pedestrians. If you end up becoming a victim because of another driver’s negligent behavior, make sure you know what personal injury attorneys that can aid in your recovery are close to you.