Understanding Train Accident Statistics

Train accident statistics prove that railway accidents may not be very common, but when they do happen, they can have serious and even fatal consequences. Overall, train accidents and fatalities have been on a downward trend in the past decades, but they are still cause for concern, especially here in San Diego, CA, where many individuals rely on railway transportation. Whether you have questions about the statistics of train accidents in San Diego or you were recently injured in an accident, our attorneys can help. Contact our law office today to speak with an attorney.

Common Causes of Train Accidents

photo of a moving trainMost train accidents are the result of negligence on the part of one or more parties. Blame could lie with the train conductor, the railway company, or even a pedestrian or motorist. Statistics show that:

  • 38 percent of accidents were caused by human factors including human error or trespassing
  • Track failure or damage resulted in 28 percent of collisions and accidents
  • Equipment failure lead to an additional 14 percent of train accidents
  • 3 percent of accidents were caused by issues regarding signals

All accidents involving a train can lead to devastating consequences for all involved.

California Train Accident Statistics

A total of 2,025 train accidents occurred in 2016, according to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). Of those, 167 occurred in California. With 52 fatalities in 2016, California had the highest train accident death rate in the nation and another 50 individuals suffered serious injuries in those train accidents. The state with the largest number of collisions was Texas, and the state with the third-most accidents was Illinois. Like California, these states offer extensive public transportation systems in large cities, which may contribute to the higher numbers of accidents, injuries, and fatalities.

Understanding implemented safety protocols can help you protect your interests if you have been injured because of someone else's negligent or reckless behavior.

Protecting Yourself

According to the FRA, more than 95 percent of train accidents involve cars in railway crossings or pedestrians. There are a number of laws and regulations set in place for pedestrians to prevent accidents and keep others safe, such as:

  • Not only is a railway crossing (one with flashing lights or gates) the only safe place to cross the tracks, but it is the only legal place to do so. Crossing at any other point is considered trespassing and is illegal.
  • In addition to railway tracks, train trestles, and yards are all considered private property. Entering these spaces uninvited is illegal as well.
  • Crossing a railway when red lights are flashing, warning of an incoming train, is illegal.

Understanding implemented safety protocols can help you protect your interests if you have been injured because of someone else's negligent or reckless behavior.

Contact San Diego Injury Lawyer

If you have further questions about train safety or accident statistics, feel free to contact San Diego Injury Lawyer online or call (619) 272-4028  to speak with a knowledgeable attorney. We can help you understand your legal options and protect your interests after a train accident.