Learning to drive a manual or “stick shift” vehicle can be challenging. In Florida one inexperienced driver was nearly killed when she stalled on railroads tracks in Maitland, FL. Click on the video below and you can see the driver of the car get out just seconds before the train hits her vehicle which is stuck on the railroad crossing. Although this railroad accident was caused by the driver of the car there are steps that the Florida Department of Transportation could have taken to prevent this SunRail train accident.
The best deterrent to railroad crossing injuries is an "active warning device" which means that lights are electronically activated by an approaching train, along with gates that will lower automatically on the approach of a train. However many railroad crossings simply have a sign with no active warning that a train is near.
In a study of collisions at train crossings from 2001 through 2005, sight obstruction was found to be a condition at the scene of 689 crashes that resulted in 87 deaths and 242 injuries. States have been slow to adopt laws requiring regular inspections of railroad crossings and removal of obstructions. According to the last survey by the Federal Railroad Administration, 31 states had no regulations at the end of 2009.
As North Carolina railroad injury lawyers we know that NC is no exception to these serious accidents. In fact North Carolina is on the list of top ten states for railroad crossing collisions. Even the most diligent driver can become a victim of a railroad accident injury when the proper safety devices are not in place.