When car drivers are involved in an accident with a train, personal injury is almost certain to result. In order to successfully recover compensation for damages, a plaintiff must be able to prove that the railroad owners acted in a negligent manner. This can include proving that warning signs were inadequate or not present, or showing that a train engineer did not adhere to best practices while operating the locomotive.
To accomplish this task, the services of an experienced local personal injury attorney is almost always necessary. These legal professionals can help accident victims understand the legal process and how to structure their case before going to court.
By understanding the tenets of railroad safety, drivers will be better equipped to spot signs of negligence on behalf of the railroad operators. Read on for tips on safety best practices around railroads in Nevada.
The Unpredictability of Trains
Many individuals assume that since trains operate on a set track, they are inherently predictable and not a safety threat. The reality, however, is that trains do not run on set schedules and can be on any track at any time, going in either direction. In many instances, by the time the train engineer sees a vehicle or other obstruction on the tracks, the possibility of personal injury is all but certain.
Although a train’s braking potential is significant, these locomotives often carry many tons of goods and resources. This added weight means it can take the average freight train over a mile to come to a complete stop.
Obey the Warnings at Crossings
A large number of accidents that occur between trains and automobiles are due to the car drivers’ false belief that the trains are moving much slower than they actually are. The average freight train is approximately 17 feet high and 10 feet wide. When viewed from the slight angle of a crossing, it can appear that the train is moving much slower than it actually is. This optical illusion is a major contributor to drivers’ thinking they can beat the train through the crossing. In all too many cases, this negligent decision leads to personal injury or worse.
Cross the Tracks With Room to Spare
You may have noticed that many railroad crossings are slightly raised. For cars with a manual transmission, this can lead to stalls while attempting to cross from a stop. When this happens, it is important for you and your passengers to leave the vehicle immediately.
Look Out for Multiple Trains
Sometimes, multiple trains can run along the same track closely behind one another, or along parallel tracks at the same crossing. Therefore, it is imperative that drivers wait until the safety guardrails have been fully raised and all warning lights and alarms have ceased operation before proceeding across the tracks.
When to Contact an Attorney
For years, the attorneys at H&P Law have been helping accident victims in Las Vegas and throughout Nevada as they navigate the litigation process. Contact H&P Law today for legal insight you can trust.