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Fleet safety tip: Railroad crossing

Trains don’t often travel on a regular schedule. From freight trains traveling across the country to light rail systems in major cities, crossing railroads can be unpredictable. A train could be coming at any time – in any direction. There were over 2,000 highway/rail grade crossing incidents in the U.S. in 2015, killing 237 people and seriously injuring 991, according to the Federal Railroad Administration.  

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It’s important to take steps to stay safe when crossing or driving near railroads. Follow these tips to cross train tracks safely:

  • Remain alert as you are approaching a railroad crossing. Most trains do not travel on a regular schedule, so always be prepared no matter what time of day you are out driving.
  • Never ignore warnings at railroad crossings. Trains can arrive at a crossing faster than you anticipate. Pay attention to:
    • Advanced warning and railroad crossing signs
    • Red flashing lights and gates
  • When you see warning signs of a railroad, look both ways and listen as you approach the crossing Don’t attempt to drive under a closing gate.
  • Remain stopped at least 15 feet away from a crossing train.
  • After a train passes, look both ways to ensure another train isn’t approaching on a second track. If clear, cross quickly without stopping.
  • If your vehicle stalls on the tracks, get everyone out and as far away from the vehicle as possible. Immediately call your local law enforcement for help.

The force of a moving train is enough to crush your vehicle. Always yield the right-of-way of the train – a train traveling at 55 miles per hour can take over one mile to come to a complete stop. The train cannot yield to you. Watch and obey railroad warning signs to stay safe on the road.

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