This “out of the blue” increase in train accidents has officials worried across Mississippi about what needs to be done to stop the rise. National statistics reveal how dangerous trains can be: every 115 minutes a person or a vehicle is hit by a train. The Department of Transportation says that some 5,800 train/vehicle accidents happen every day in the United States and that these crashes result in 600 deaths and injuries to 2,300 people.
Police officials in Union County say that they believe the crash took place because a gate at a warehouse had been accidentally locked. Due to the locked gate, the tractor-trailer driver was unable to pull directly into the business to make his delivery. He parked his truck by the gate, hanging the back end of his 18-wheeler out onto the train track, while he went to investigate the problem. While he was gone a train came by and was not able to stop before it smashed into the back of the semi.
The driver of the truck has said that he never saw or heard the approaching train and did not realize his truck was hanging off over the track. Police officials say that the train conductor and engineer never saw the reflective material on the back of the truck until it was too late to stop.
According to safety data, the average freight train is between 90 to 120 rail cars long. When a car of that length is moving at 55 miles per hour, it can take more than a mile for the train to stop once the brake has been fully applied. Given the danger posed by such heavy trains, the public should be aware of the risks and take special care when around a busy railroad.
All those around a train track should be on heightened alert, being careful to watch and listen for signs of a nearby train. Never walk on a train track, even if you think a train won’t be passing. Even if you encounter trains every day, resist the urge to become complacent. Trains are heavy, fast and dangerous and should always be taken seriously.
If you or some you know has been injured, you need the help of a Mississippi injury attorney knowledgeable of the state’s confusing personal injury law to help protect your rights and recover damages for your injury.
Source: “Train officials concerned with increase in accidents, ” by Julee Brown, published at WTVA.com.