Stop, Look And Listen Before You Go Over An Unprotected Railroad Crossing

Tennessee residents are well aware that many unprotected railroad crossings exist across the state. With an extensive network of rail routes traversing urban areas as well as the countryside, the potential for auto/train collisions at these rail crossings is probably greater than you think.

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation. The FRA provides statistics on vehicle-train collisions and fatalities/injuries at highway-rail grade crossings. In Tennessee, 29 highway-rail accidents have occurred so far in 2013, including two fatalities and 12 non-fatal incidents.

Historically, the FRA’s position on these accidents states is that “It is also proper for local authorities, not the Federal Railroad Administration, to investigate the vast majority of crossing collisions, since 94 percent involve motor vehicle driver behaviors as principal factors. We do not enforce safety laws.”

It is true that in some instances, drivers may try to race the train to the crossing or they just may not see the oncoming train. However, contrary to the FRA’s position that the driver is almost always at fault, other factors can cause these accidents, such as:

  • Train engineers failing to sound the alarm
  • Trains exceeding speed limits
  • Faulty track
  • Malfunctioning or inoperative signals
  • Obstacles that obstruct the motorist’s view

If you were injured in an accident with a train, contact a Nashville, Tennessee railroad accident law firm for assistance. Many unprotected crossings exist in Tennessee and may not meet federal safety standards and/or state law. Your attorney has the knowledge and resources needed to conduct a thorough investigation to determine the cause of the accident and represent your best interests with the railroad and its insurance company.  Rocky McElhaney Law Firm has the talented team of lawyers for you.  We have attorneys licensed not only in Tennessee, but in Kentucky and licensed to practice in Federal Court.  If your or someone you know has been injured by a train, call us:  We’ll fight for you.