Focus on Deadly Train Accidents Highlights Crossing Dangers | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

Yesterday, the Associated Press shined its investigative spotlight on the large number of deaths caused each year by heavy rail accidents. The article cites Federal Railroad Administration data showing that 721 people were killed in 2008 after they were struck by a freight or passenger train. Of these fatalities, 450 were pedestrians crossing tracks.



A closer look at the FRA data reveals that more than 8,400 heavy rail accidents resulted in some injury last year. By cause, 36 percent of the reported accidents resulted from human factors, 35 percent resulted from track defects and 13 percent resulted from equipment defects. One heavy rail fatality occurred in Virginia. These statistics point to large areas where rail operators could improve safety and procedures.
My colleagues and I have decades of experience representing both rail workers and members of the public injured in train track crossing accidents. I am pleased to note FRA received new authority last year to enforce safety regulation on railroads and rail operators. I am less pleased to note that the new laws took effect too late to save the lives of hundreds of Americans.

About the Editors: Shapiro & Appleton& Duffan personal injury law firm is based in Virginia (VA), near the NE North Carolina (NC) border. The firm handles car, truck, railroad, medical negligence cases and more. Our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as a pro bono public information service. Shapiro & Appleton& Duffan’s lawyers are licensed in VA, NC, SC, WV, DC and KY.