Railroad crossings are the source of over 2000 accidents nearly every year in America and contribute to many injuries and deaths. It’s important to be aware of safety measures you should take at train stops. Always look for flashing lights as these signal that a train is approaching. Always look and listen first before proceeding across a train track. If you ever stall out or have a vehicle breakdown on a train track, exit immediately. And lastly, and most importantly, do NOT act like a daredevil and try to play chicken against a train. It shouldn’t need to be said, but unfortunately, still happens every year. Collisions with trains can be deadly both for car drivers and passengers and engineers on trains, so it’s imperative that you know how to safely handle railroad crossings.

Safety Tips for Railroad Crossings: How to Stay Safe at Train Tracks

Look for Flashing Lights

When approaching railroad crossings, you should always look for flashing lights. When roads travel over train tracks, they usually have flashing lights and a gate that comes down when a train is approaching. Never try to speed under the gate when you see it start to lower. If it is moving at all, it means you should wait until the train passes.

Always Look First

You should always assume a train is coming when approaching railroad crossings. Even if there are no flashing lights and the safety gate is still raised, it’s best to always look and listen before crossing the tracks. In addition to trains, sometimes maintenance vehicles drive on train tracks. When these are approaching, the sensors may not trigger the flashing lights and gate lowering that you are probably expecting. So looking both ways before crossing a train track is always the best move.

Emergency Situations

If your car stalls out or completely break down right on top of a railroad crossing, it can be very scary. Exit your vehicle immediately and get any passengers safely out. If a train is approaching, run away from the tracks in the direction the train is coming from. If the train collides with the car it could throw debris towards you. Therefore, it’s best to run towards where the train is coming from, rather than in the direction it’s moving. If there are no trains approaching, call 911 and get to a safe distance.

Don’t Play Daredevil

Finally, and this shouldn’t need to be said at all, never play the daredevil at railroad crossings. Playing “Chicken” with a train where you see if you can get your vehicle across the tracks as a train approaches without getting hit is incredibly stupid. However, every year, accidents occur because of this. Not only are you putting yourself and your passengers at risk, but also train passengers and engineers. If a train is approaching do not ever try to cross the tracks.

Safety at railroad crossings is so important to keep you safe on the road. Always look out for flashing lights and a lowering gate to alert you when a train is approaching. However, don’t assume that every train crossing has these signals. It’s also important to look for yourself before you cross the tracks. If your car stalls out on the train tracks, run away and call for help immediately. And finally, never ever try to “beat” a train by playing chicken. Every year, train tracks are a source of collisions between cars and trains. Being aware of safety tips to take while at railroad crossings can make you more aware and keep you from being a statistic.