Ohio railroad traffic safety guide

People go over railroad crossings all the time, but they may not be aware that they should be taking these important safety precautions.

Those living in Ohio know that it is a State with a lot of railroad traffic. According to the Ohio Public utilities Commision, there are over 5,800 public grade crossings, and the actual length of tracks spans approximately 5,000 miles. When approaching a railroad crossing, most people know to slow down and wait for the train to pass by, yet in 2017 there were still 68 train-vehicle crashes throughout the State in 2017. Fortunately, that is a dramatic improvement from the 123 crashes that occurred in 2001.

As there are still a significant number of crashes that happen every year, people need to remain vigilant when approaching a train-crossing area. An improvement is not complete perfection, and those who want to avoid becoming one of the statistics would do well to educate themselves on some of the best safety practices when traveling in areas where there are railroad tracks.

Specific safety tips

It is not just motorists, but pedestrians as well who are at risk of injury and who need to take care around train tracks. The following list of tips from the City of Worthington is not a comprehensive guide, but it does cover the essential bases that people may not otherwise think of:

  • Some people think it is a fun prank to leave objects like rocks or cans on the rails. This could not only cause a catastrophic wreck, but is also a federal crime.
  • Even if a train is stopped, it could leap into motion without warning. That is why people should never climb between train cars when trying to quickly get across tracks.
  • There are many people who choose to walk along or on railroad tracks-but over 500 people in the U.S. are killed doing this every year. Plus, this can result in a trespassing charge.
  • When crossing a railroad, if someone's vehicle stalls, he or she should immediately get out of the vehicle and avoid taking the time to grab anything from within. A life is more valuable than a car and its contents.
  • Always checking for a second train coming through after a first one has fully passed by is something that should be done at every crossing.

People should remember to always be on guard, even if there are crossing signals that light up. More than half of railway collisions happen at crossings that have signals built in.

Anyone who has been injured as a result of a train accident may be dealing with costly medical expenses and a lot of pain and suffering. Getting desired financial compensation in these cases may be facilitated with the help of an attorney in the local area who practices personal injury law.