While train/car accidents do not often happen, a recent deadly accident in Charlotte, North Carolina, has track safety back in the news. Whether you live near train tracks or just occasionally cross them, you must understand how to stay safe at crossings. The potential for a deadly accident is too high when drivers do not adhere to safety regulations. 

Operation Lifesaver explains that in an accident where a train hits a car, the car always loses due to the weight and speed of the train. When comparing weight, the average train hitting the average car is comparable to a car hitting a soda can. In addition, it takes an average train one mile to stop completely if it is traveling at 55 miles per hour. Trains are a serious hazard when you do not interact with them properly. 

Things to keep in mind 

When driving over train tracks, you need to remember that you should always adhere to any warnings or signals. Never go around closed gates, even if you do not see a train. Remember, trains can travel quite fast. Plus, today’s trains are not always noisy. You may not see or hear a train before it is close enough to cause you harm. 

You also want to keep your distance from the tracks. Never pull up too close. The train cars will usually go beyond the track, which means it needs a cushion of space for safe travel. 

Stay alert around tracks. Trains may not always travel on a schedule. You should always expect a train to come. Listen, look and pay attention to cross tracks safely. 

Above all else, be aware that trains have the right of way above all other types of vehicles, even emergency vehicles. Give them space and respect them if you want to avoid serious accidents, ones that could be avoided with a little foresight.