Pedestrian Railroad Safety
I’m Ed Smith, a Personal Injury Attorney in Sacramento. Most people have felt the frustration of waiting for a train to pass. Some may have even thought about trying to cross the track in between two of the cars. Concerns regarding pedestrian safety and railroad tracks were recently highlighted in a research study.
Railroad Safety Highlighted in a Study
For over a century, trains have played a pivotal role in moving people and cargo throughout not only the country but also the world. Because of the size of trains, they also pose a serious danger to people both inside and outside of the cabins. Recently, a research paper explored railroad safety concerning pedestrians. Through an extensive literature review, the researchers found that the leading cause of fatalities regarding trains had to do with pedestrians walking near the train. The research study also proposed several safety tips for pedestrian safety around railroad tracks.
Statistics on Pedestrian Injuries
Pedestrian injuries are a serious concern on an annual basis. Some of the statistics regarding pedestrian injuries include:
- In 2013, almost 5,000 pedestrians were killed by a motor vehicle, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
- In the same year, another 66,000 were injured.
- Among total traffic fatalities, pedestrian fatalities accounted for almost 15 percent.
- This percentage has been steadily increasing over the past few years.
- Almost 75 percent of these fatalities occurred in an urban area.
- Three-quarters of these fatalities happened at night.
These statistics bear out several important points. First, the busier the area, the more likely it is for a pedestrian to be injured by a motor vehicle. This includes trains, cars, and motorcycles. Second, darkness increases the likelihood of a pedestrian injury or fatality. Taken together, it is important for everyone to remain focused because pedestrians can be overlooked in a busy area or in periods of darkness.
Types of Pedestrian Injuries
There are many different types of traumatic injuries that a pedestrian could sustain. Some of the most common injuries include:
Bone Fractures: While bones are made to withstand significant forces, they cannot withstand a collision with a train or a car. Some of the most common types of bone fractures include humerus fractures and femur fractures.
Head Injuries: When someone is struck by a train or car, they could strike their head on a hard surface. This could be the hood of a car or the side of a train. Head injuries could include concussions, cerebral hemorrhages, or even skull fractures.
Soft Tissue Injuries: Some parts of the body, like the abdomen, are not protected by bones. This means internal organs are prone to sustaining damage in a traumatic event.
Moving Forward: Safety First
The study closed by proposing several different safety ideas for pedestrians and railroad tracks. First, whenever possible, train tracks should either go over or under pedestrian areas. This will prevent people from having to cross train tracks to reach another location. Next, the same way there are bars that prevent cars from crossing tracks, similar barriers should be put in place to prevent pedestrians from crossing. Lastly, pedestrians should remember to use extra care and caution at night. In the darkness, it can be a challenge for trains and pedestrians to see each other. Pedestrians should wear brightly colored clothing and remember to listen for the sound of a train whistle. Pedestrians who have been hurt in a train accident can meet with an experienced personal injury attorney in Sacramento to discuss their options.
Best Personal Injury Attorney in Sacramento
I’m Ed Smith, a Personal Injury Attorney in Sacramento. If you or your family has been hurt in a pedestrian-train accident, please call me at (916) 921-6400 or on our toll-free number: (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly advice.
I am pleased to be a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
You can see my verdicts or settlements here.
Image Attribution: The railroad tracks image at the beginning of this article was located on Unsplash. It has been shown here with permission
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