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Brett Emison
Brett Emison
Attorney • (800) 397-4910

Texas and Mississippi Train Accidents A Reminder Of Railroad Crossing Dangers

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Two recent railroad crossing accidents provide a reminder that drivers must be extra cautious when approaching a train crossing. The Mississippi collision appears to have occurred when a motorist ignored railroad crossing gates at the intersection. The driver tragically died following the collision. The Amarillo, Texas train collision left two men critically injured.

It is cricital to always observe and obey warning lights and gates at railroad crossings. Never attempt to drive around crossing gates, even if the approaching train is not yet visible or even if it appears you can safely crossing the railroad tracks.

While some crossings are protected by both lights and gates, many are not. A significant number of railroad crossings do not have crossing gates to block the intersection when a train is approaching and many do not even have warning lights or bells. Because of the many differences in railroad crossings, drivers should always use extra caution when approaching the crossing.

Unguarded crossings (those without gates or without lights) are particularly dangerous. Though railroad companies are supposed to sound the train’s horn when approaching a crossing, this doesn’t always happen. Moreover, the railroad may fall behind on track or crossing maintenance. Crossing signs may be faded or missing. Vegetation and brush may be overgrown and can block the view of an approaching train. Sometimes, trains are parked incorrectly on the track so that it appears the train is stopped when in fact there may be a hidden train approaching the crossing.

What are some potential railroad crossing dangers?

  • No warning devices (crossing gates, warning lights, warning bells
  • Defective or malfunctioning warning devices
  • Overgrown vegetation that hides oncoming trains
  • Improperly parked train that hides oncoming trains
  • Failure to blow the train’s horn or sound the train’s whistle
  • Speeding trains
  • Improper sight lines at the railroad crossing

Remind your friends and family to be extra vigilant and to stop (or at least slow) their vehicle when they approach a railroad crossing.

Learn more about Langdon & Emison dangerous railroad crossings at our railroad accident web site.

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