Dangers of Railroad Crossings in Pennsylvania

Dangers of Railroad Crossings in Pennsylvania

When you think of a serious accident, typically a car accident comes to mind. However, other serious accidents happen every year in Pennsylvania, including those that involve trains. Train accidents involving any type of vehicle or pedestrian can lead to extensive harm due to the fact that trains are so large compared to other modes of transportation. Being aware of the dangers of railroad crossings can ensure that you are not involved in one of these horrific and life-altering accidents.

Understanding How Common Railroad Accidents Are  

Train accidents on our railroads do not happen as commonly as other accidents but, when they do happen, they tend to lead to some of the most extensive harm. In 2020, the U.S. actually experienced a decrease in train-related accidents. Approximately 757 people were killed in railroad accidents that year. In 2021, Pennsylvania rated 11th out of other states in the U.S. when it came to railroad-related fatalities, with only 4 people losing their lives but 20 people sustaining serious injuries.

Common Reasons for Accidents at Railroad Crossings 

There are many reasons why severe and life-altering accidents involving trains happen every year in the state of Pennsylvania and beyond. By understanding how these accidents happen, the dangers can be avoided and lives can be saved. Some of the most common causes for collisions at railroad crossings include the following:

Defective Warnings: If lights, bells, or gates are not installed or not working, a pedestrian or driver cannot be alerted to an oncoming train. This can lead to an accident in the blink of an eye.


Improper Maintenance of Crossing: Those who are supposed to maintain the crossing sometimes fail to do so. This could include overgrown trees and foliage that has grown to such extents that the oncoming train is obscured from your view. 

Lack of Warnings: Sometimes, the signs and signals that are supposed to warn you of an oncoming train are just not there at all. These include aspects like lights, alarms, crossing gates that function properly, and more.

Improper Train Parking: If a train is improperly parked at or near a crossing, it could obscure a person’s view and they might not see an oncoming train in the area until it is too late. Motorists are also sometimes given a false sense of security when it comes to improperly parked trains, thinking that they don’t have to watch out for an oncoming train when they actually do. 

Failure to Hear Horns: You may not hear a horn or whistle alerting you of a train for many different reasons.

Railroad companies are expected to assure that train crossings and warning systems are put in place to ensure the safety of others. It is up to a driver or a pedestrian to approach any type of railroad crossing with caution, knowing that there are dangers out there.

Speaking with a Pennsylvania Train Accident Attorney 

If you have been hurt in a train-related accident, you may wonder what options you have. These claims can be complex in nature and many different parties could be at fault for your claim. Because of this, it is important that you have the help of a skilled Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer on your side who can help you. Our attorneys at Edelstein Martin & Nelsonare here for you after an accident has impacted your life on many levels. Please do not hesitate to contact a train accident attorney in Pennsylvania at (215) 731-9900 to find out how we can assist you.

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