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Although Railway Travel Improves Safety, It Can Cause Crashes Too

Cranwell & Moore P.L.C. Sept. 20, 2022

One of the selling points for mass transportation is the safety impact. The more people who use mass transit, the fewer people who get hurt or die as they travel. Many people die and get hurt in motor vehicle collisions, and human error is a primary cause of such tragedies.

The fewer people that have to personally transport themselves to and from work every day, the fewer collisions there will usually be. However, although mass transit, like travel by trains, is often safer than traveling independently, it also leaves people very vulnerable when something goes wrong.

After all, your skill won’t matter at all because you are not the one in control of the vehicle. Your schedule is also beholden to powers beyond your own control, as a recent tragic incident involving an Amtrak train shows.

Riders Were Stuck on Board for Hours After a Fatal Crash

An Amtrak train came to a screeching halt with dozens of passengers onboard on September 7th, 2022. The people on board the train were then stuck without answers or other options for nearly three-and-a-half hours.

The reason for the delay is quite tragic. The train struck a motor vehicle at an intersection, causing a fatal collision. It took hours for first responders to clear the wreck and allow the train involved on its way. The investigation into the incident should help determine if the driver made a mistake or if there was possibly a failure of safety systems either at the crossing or on the train that contributed to the tragic incident.

Cars and Trains Don’t Mix

While train tracks do cross the roads dozens of times in any given city, each of those crossing points is a major source of risk for local drivers. Individuals affected by such collisions may have the right to bring an insurance claim or a civil lawsuit in court, although those in vehicles struck by trains often do not survive.

Surviving family members affected by fatal train collisions may be able to pursue wrongful death claims related to infrastructure failures or other mistakes that contributed to the tragic loss of their family member. Understanding the possible risks posed by trains can help members of the public make safe choices or stand up for themselves after a tragedy.