Statistics from the Federal Railroad Administration's Web Accident Prediction System predict that the rail crossing in the Chicago area most likely to to experience some sort of accident within the next year is the crossing at North Nagle Avenue and North Northwest Highway.
The FRA calculates the probability of a collision, using past accidents and current traffic statistics, including the number of tracks, the presence of safety systems like gates and flashing lights, and the speed of trains passing by.
According to the Illinois State University Police, a typical locomotive weighs approximately 400,000 pounds or 200 tons. When 100 railcars are added to the locomotive, the train can weigh approximately 6,000 tons. Additionally, modern trains are quieter than ever and an approaching train will always be closer and moving faster than you think. An alarming fact is that the weight ratio of an automobile to a train is proportional to a soda can and an automobile. The Illinois State University Police offer many tips regarding safety around railroad crossings, including:
- Always pay attention to signs and signals
- Wait for all trains to clear a crossing
- Abandon your car if you stall on the tracks
- Don't stop if you start driving over tracks. Do not try to back up.
- If you see a train coming, wait
- Do not park within 15 feet of railroad tracks
- Never walk down a train track; it's illegal and dangerous
- Cross railroad tracks only at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings
If all signs and signals are working properly, crossing railroad tracks should be no problem. However, sometimes not everything is working at it should. Accidents at railroad crossings can be devastating, and in Chicago there are many possible scenarios where a person may be injured, including CTA trains or Metra. It's important to speak with a personal injury and wrongful death attorney to ensure your rights are protected.
Contact the Nemeroff Law Offices immediately at 312-629-8800 or complete our online contact form.