If you drive any distance at all, you are bound to cross train tracks or a railroad crossing at some point. Trains are very big and move really quickly, so railroad crossings can be very dangerous to pass over. If you are going to drive a vehicle, it is really important to know how to safely pass over train tracks.

How-to Safely Pass Over Train Tracks: Safe Driving


If you come upon a railroad crossing that has gates, pay attention to the gates. If you are approaching train tracks and notice the lights flashing or the gates starting to lower, stop. Sure, trains can take a long time to pass, but do not try and race and beat the train. Trains can not stop fast and could hit you even if the conductor sees you. Keep in mind that sometimes gates and lights may be malfunctioning, so always treat a crossing like there is a train coming.

There is a chance that the timing could be off and the train could arrive sooner than you think. You could even end up getting stuck under the gates if they come down on top of your car. If you have already started to pass over train tracks when the gate starts moving and lights start flashing, move quickly off the tracks. This is not the time to be a slow driver. Get off the tracks as soon as you can safely do so.

No Gates

Some train crossings do not have gates or lights. Always look and listen for a train coming. Turn down your music so that you can hear better. Do not stop on the tracks. If there is a car ahead and you are not able to fully pass over train tracks, wait until you are able to do so. Keep in mind that trains are wider than tracks, and can extend up to 15 feet beyond the tracks. Make sure you leave plenty of space for the train before you stop.


If your car stalls or gets stuck on the tracks when you are trying to pass over train tracks, do not sit and wait in the car. Instead, get yourself and any passengers out immediately and get away from your car into a safe area. Do not go walking along the tracks. If you see a train coming, run in the direction that a train is coming in a 45 degree angle. This may seem counterintuitive, but it will help reduce the amount of debris and risk that your car gets pushed towards you.

Train tracks can be dangerous for cars if you are not making smart decisions. Do not try and beat the crossing gates, look and listen for trains coming, and never stop on the tracks.