In 2013, there were 34 railroad accidents involving nonfatal injuries in Arizona, and another 8 accidents that resulted in fatalities. Injuries and fatalities are not surprising results when you consider that no motor vehicle can withstand the impact of a massive train, often traveling at high speeds. If you or a loved one sustains injuries in an accident at a railroad crossing, it is important to seek immediate support from a law firm with experience handling these types of cases.
Identifying the causes of train accidents can be complex because so many possible factors are involved. To get an idea of the issues, consider the following primary cause data provided by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) concerning 549 U.S. train accidents reported during the 2013 fiscal year:
- Human factors, the most common cause, contributed to 40.44 percent of the accidents.
- The next most common cause involved track defects, at 30.97 percent.
- Equipment and miscellaneous causes were about equal at 10.02 percent and 13.11 percent, respectively.
- Signal defects caused only 3.46 percent of the accidents.
Although drivers need to remain vigilant around railroad crossings, the fact remains that they are not expected to stop at every train track — and the ability to see oncoming trains from a vehicle driver’s seat is severely limited in most cases. While railroad accident attorneys can benefit from investigations conducted by local and federal municipalities, they also need to conduct their own thorough investigations to protect the rights of clients injured in these often devastating situations.