According to the Federal Railroad Administration, there were 7,919 collisions between freight and commuter trains and motor vehicles between 2017 and 2021.
Here are some facts:
The average passenger car traveling at 55 mph can make an emergency stop in about 200 feet, whereas a freight train takes up to a mile to stop.
In 2021, there were 1,627 motor vehicle collisions at public rail grade crossings, resulting in 126 fatalities and 505 injured people.
Railroad crossing incidents are preventable when drivers follow the correct safety procedures. You can practice using caution around rail grade crossings to help keep yourself, passengers and other motorists safe by:
Always obeying signs, slowing down, looking both ways down the track and listening for approaching trains at crossings.
Stopping when the crossing bar is down and avoiding crossing the tracks.
Never trying to beat the train. Because of their size and weight, trains look like they’re traveling more slowly than they are in actuality.
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS
Stop. Trains Can't
A message from NHTSA/FRA
Other Rail Safety Tips:
Identifying the type of cargo being transported ahead of time to make sure you have the right devices or equipment to secure safely. Cargo must be secured against leaking, spilling, blowing or falling from your vehicle.
Securing Vehicle Loads: When moving or towing furniture, it is important to make sure all items are secured. Inspect devices and anchor points regularly to ensure they’re not damaged, defective or weakened. Cargo securement devices must not be defective or weakened.
To properly secure a load, drivers should:
Before driving over a rail crossing, be certain there is enough room on the other side of the tracks for your vehicle to fully clear the crossing. Be aware that you may need to cross multiple sets of tracks at some railroad crossings.
Never stop on the tracks.
If your vehicle stalls on a crossing — even if you don’t see a train coming — quickly move all occupants out and away from your vehicle and the track.
When it’s safe to do so, call the number on the blue Emergency Notification System sign. If the sign is not visible to you, dial 911 for help. If a train approaches, get as far away from the tracks as possible to avoid potential debris.