Laying the Groundwork
You may not have been involved in an accident with a train or at a railway crossing, or you may not know anyone who has been, but nearly a quarter of a million lives have been lost at railway crossings since the 1970s. Operation Lifesaver shares railway fatality statistics that put Florida in the fourth spot for the most railway fatalities: 14 railway crossing deaths in 2016 alone. For the family members of these victims, consideration should be had for the help of a personal injury attorney in Florida.
A Modern Approach
Now that technology is at the forefront in Western civilization, some suggest that implementing new technology at railway crossings would prevent some deaths, which should be a suggestion of interest in states like Florida, where railway fatalities are relatively high. Did you know that over 83,000 railway crossings in the U.S. have no gated barriers to high speed trains during their crossings with roadways? These trains can weigh thousands of tons and be traveling at highway speeds.
Roadblocks to Progress
According to a statistic by the Federal Railroad Administration, fewer than one percent of current railway crossings use the kind of modern technology that could significantly reduce deaths at crossings. A personal injury attorney in Florida may deal with any number of clients who come in as a result of that staggering statistic. Quad gates, one of the specific examples of this newer technology, are useful, but expensive. Authorities may struggle to meet the costs required to prevent further railway crossing fatalities through the use of technology.
Technology is meant to be an aid to civilized societies and, as such, require the participation of its users. That is why it is also suggested that an educational approach to preventing railway fatalities work in tandem with new technology. Illustrative of this point, in Boynton Breach, just last week, although crossing gates were successfully lowered, two separate and unrelated instances of railway crossing fatalities resulted, presumably due to unwary driving.
Preventative measures can be taken to help save lives:
– When approaching a railway crossing, assume that a train might be approaching, rather than rely fully on any gates or road signs. Many crossings in the current system are not set up to provide adequate alerts, so a driver must take heed when approaching a crossing.
– Not only do trains have the right of way, and impeding trains by walking on train tracks is illegal, trains are much larger, heavier, and dangerous than just about anything you could be using when crossing their tracks. Therefore, always be on the defensive, and stay off train tracks outside of safely crossing them, and doing so only at designated intersections with roadways.