Each year, over 2,000 collisions occur between motor vehicles and trains in the US
While highway safety systems get a great deal of publicity, railroad crossing safety is a vital yet often overlooked part of accident prevention.
According to a study by the DOT, 94% of those incidents were caused by driver inattentiveness or disregard for safety.
Almost 50% of vehicle-train collisions occur at crossings where warning devices such as lights and/or warning gates are in place.
A train-related wreck is 20 times more likely to result in death than a collision with another motor vehicle.
The reasons why train wrecks so often lead to death come down to physics. Simply put, the larger and heavier a moving object is, the more damage it will inflict on whatever it hits. The typical train weighs in excess of 3,000 tons and can be more than a mile in length. Stopping such a massive vehicle requires a length longer than 18 football fields lined up one after the other. Even if the engineer sees someone on the tracks ahead, he or she won’t have time to stop before striking the person.