Railroad crossing essay


Dangers of Railroad Crossings

Another growing problem with both experienced and new conductors is fatigue. Human error has always been one of the most common reasons for any accident. From poor judgment to vision issues to impaired reactions, these factors can and do contribute to train disasters. Sometimes, a reckless or distracted pedestrian can cause a collision by standing on or crossing the tracks at the wrong time. In other scenarios, the driver of a car, truck, motorcycle or other motor vehicle can cause an accident by leaving their vehicle parked on a train track or trying to beat the train across a crossing.

The train operator, railway employees and the company itself can do everything within their ability to follow all the required safety procedures, but a train accident can still happen. Mechanical failure and defective parts are more rare than other common causes of train collisions, but they do occasionally happen. Trains are large machines with complex systems and many moving parts. All of the different systems must work together perfectly to provide locomotive and electric power.

If some piece of guidance equipment such as a rail switch or safety equipment such as a rail signal fails, it can cause a deadly accident. Time and again, car accident data proves that driving recklessly fast can lead to serious injuries and deaths. Trains are no exception. Many train accidents in recent years showed that the faster the train, the worse the consequences become in the event of a crash and the higher likelihood of derailment. Obstruction is a common issue with the tracks and can cause train derailment.

Foreign objects left inadvertently at the site where the train will pass can be deadly. Conductors should be aware of their surroundings at all times to manage a potentially dangerous situation quickly and safely. However, in some cases, a conductor fails to see these obstacles at all or in time to stop a collision. A derailment is when a train runs off its rail, either because of a collision with another object, a conductor error, mechanical track failure, broken rails, or defective wheels.

However, a serious derailment can be catastrophic if it occurs while the train is moving at a high rate of speed. More than 80 percent of crossings lack adequate warning devices such as lights and gates, and more than half of all railroad accidents occur at unprotected crossings.

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Tennessee residents know well that there are many unprotected railroad crossings across the state. Accidents at unprotected railroad crossings are most often caused by:. Cars rarely get stuck on railroad grade crossings. More common is when drivers stall out when slowing down to cross bumpy grades due to a poorly tuned engine. If this happens to you, first you try to start it again immediately.

Get as far from your vehicle as possible.

Industry, Politics and Power: the Union Pacific in Wyoming

Sadly, some people choose to take their own lives by standing on the tracks or jumping in front of a train. Federal statistics show that people killed themselves by stepping in front of trains in Unfortunately, this tragic and desperate act also endangers other lives such as train crews, emergency responders, passengers and bystanders. The details of a train accident must be analyzed thoroughly in order to determine fault and proper compensation.

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In the Department of Transportation Act of , the Federal Railroad Administration is bestowed with the authority and responsibility to oversee and promote railway safety regulations. Railroad companies and commuter rail lines have a legal obligation to maintain the highest level of safety for all passengers.

Metra Safety Poster and Essay Contest | Metra

Also, they are required to install a black box on all locomotives — a device that records information that may be very necessary to review in the event of an accident. There can be many factors involved in personal injury cases arising from a serious or deadly train accident, which is why it is vital to hire an attorney that is highly knowledgeable in railroad accident litigation.

To achieve safety for railroads and railways, companies are obliged to perform everything they can to ensure the protection of the passengers, operators, pedestrians, and the public. When a train wreck happens, the black box should be recovered right away as it will give details of what led to the accident, such as the speed and direction of the train. Roy Scott Pkwy. The intersection is located near a Norfolk Southern rail yard.

Meanwhile, residents of many Indiana communities must find alternate routes around stopped trains. Charles Hart works in Crawfordsville and was on his way to the gas station after work when a train stopped and blocked an intersection along his route. He says he used to be stopped three or four times a week.


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Those stoppages cause traffic to become so congested that Crawfordsville Mayor Todd Barton set up a camera at the intersection that livestreams to his office. Driving around Crawfordsville, Barton says highway-rail crossings are also in disrepair. Very dangerous. Crawfordsville Mayor Todd Barton points to a livestream in his office of a highway-rail crossing. The railroad companies, on the other hand, claim any more regulation would hurt business for everyone. The other percent of the funding would come from local governments. Host railroads have the option to partner with municipalities to cover that cost.

Company officials say they apologize to residents and are communicating with local leaders about the problem. View the discussion thread. Share Tweet Email.

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