Hardly anyone alive today is old enough to remember when silent films were a sought-after form of entertainment, but a few stereotypes about films of that era still loom large in the popular imagination. One of them is of a villain tying a woman to a train track and the hero rescuing her just in time; it was such an effective plot device because few things are scarier than being killed by a speeding train, and trying to get out of the path of a moving train is a superhuman feat. Railroad crossings should be designed, constructed and maintained to keep pedestrians, drivers and occupants of vehicles safe; but, railway crossing accidents still happen. Some of these accidents happen either because the design of the crossing was defective or because the warning and/or safety systems did not function properly. If someone in your family was killed or injured by a train, contact a Houma car accident attorney.
Louisiana Railroad Crossing Safety at a Glance
Here are some facts about the state of railroad crossings in Louisiana, as reported by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development:
In 2015, 13 motorists and six pedestrians died after being struck by trains at railway crossings in Louisiana.
Louisiana ranks fourth in states with the greatest number of railway crossing accident fatalities. Florida holds the number one spot by an enormous margin.
More than 95% of railway crossing deaths are the result of someone approaching the path of a moving train intentionally, whether it is a pedestrian attempting suicide or a motorist who drives around the railway crossing gate in an effort to cross the track before the train reaches the crossing.
To be safe from an oncoming train, you must stay at least 15 feet away from the track; the markings on railway crossings indicate this. The 15-foot margin on either side of the train track is called the “dynamic envelope,” and it is the distance from the track the train might lean or sway as it travels down the track.
In 2016, Louisiana devoted $5.8 million to improving railway crossing safety. The improvements included new and replacement signs, signals, surface paint, and gates at 30 different railroad crossings throughout the state.
The issues of liability in railway crossing accidents vary according to the circumstances; sometimes the crossing gates fail to close.
Contact Patrick Yancey About Car Accident Cases
Personal injury and wrongful death lawyers are dedicated to seeking justice for the victims of traffic accidents, whether at a railway crossing or anywhere else on the road. Contact the Law Office of Patrick H. Yancey in Houma, Louisiana to see if you have grounds for a lawsuit.