In Miami and across the state of Florida, trains are still used for commuting and for transporting heavy cargo. Train safety is paramount, especially for drivers. Each year, people are injured or killed because they get stuck on the train tracks or because they try to outdrive a train.
In fact, between January 2018 and September 2019, 90 people were killed on railways in Florida. If you drive in the South Florida area, make sure you review these safety tips and review them with any teen drivers you know:
- Be alert: Distracted driving can increase your odds of a train track accident. It’s easy to miss the signals that a train is coming if you’re not paying attention. When driving, make sure you are in physical condition to do so, and not too sick or tired to focus properly. Put away any distractions, such as phones, make-up, food, and any other distractions which can keep you from noticing important details on the road.
- Slow down and look: When approaching any intersection or train tracks, always slow down and look. Some train tracks have flashing lights and signals while others have a road sign indicating a train crossing. Whether the trains lights are flashing or not, always quickly scan the area to make sure it is safe to proceed.
- Never try to drive across tracks: If you approach a train track in the lights are flashing or the bar is down indicating that a train is coming, never try to drive across, even if you don’t see a train. Never try to drive across if you see a train headed in your direction. You may assume you can quickly get across the tracks before the train arrives, but it’s easy to misjudge speed and distance in this situation. Plus, if your car gets stuck you will likely not have enough time to escape the car before the impact. Many drivers have been killed by trying to outrun a train. Even if you think the train has passed, wait until the lights stop flashing completely. Trains can back up multiple times and conductors will not expect anyone to be on the tracks if the lights are flashing.
- Do not obstruct your hearing: Have your car stereo at a reasonable volume and never wear headphones when driving. You need to be able to hear the train’s horn and the signal crossings. Hearing correctly could save your life.
- Always scan the road in front of you: Drive defensively and know what’s happening around you. Notice any upcoming train tracks where you may need to stop.
If you have been injured in a train track accident or a car accident involving a train, you may have legal options, especially if the train company did not use proper signals or signs to indicate to danger. To find out what your rights are, contact Flaxman Law Group at 1-866-352-9626 (1-866-FLAXMAN) for a free consultation with a Hollywood and Miami car accident attorney. Our team has more than six decades of combined experience to put to work on your case.