Common Causes of Train Accidents

Jun 11

Trains are efficient modes of transportation. They are both comfortable and fast, which are the two most important factors in mobility. Because of these features, trains are the transportation of choice of many Americans. This also means that many Americans are at risk of train accidents.

The website of the Houston personal injury attorneys of Williams Kherkher mentions that those who have been injured in train accidents may have legal options, such as trying to get compensation and justice from the responsible parties, especially if these parties have been negligent or reckless.

Human Error

Some errors may be legitimate, so the train accident can be understandable. But there are instances where the errors have occurred because of some form of negligence or recklessness. Train accidents that occur because of these kinds of errors are unwarranted. Below are some of the most common unwarranted human errors involving train accidents:

  • Distracted crew
  • Failure to comply to safety procedures and rules
  • Failure to give appropriate orders to crew
  • Failure to properly secure or release brakes
  • Speeding

Mechanical and Road Defects

Sometimes, the crew encounters defects in and around the train. It may be their fault, like when they are not properly maintaining the train during operation, or it may be the fault of someone else, like when the jurisdiction responsible for the train track’s maintenance and construction has failed to do its job properly. Below are some of the most common defects the train crew may encounter:

  • Bolt hole problems, like cracks and fractures
  • Control defects, particularly in switches
  • Detaching or worn rails
  • Malfunctioning train lights and signals
  • Unprotected railroad crossings
  • Unnecessary obstructions on tracks

Pedestrian Negligence

The train crew is not always at fault, because there are times where negligent pedestrians are the ones who trigger train accidents. The most negligent pedestrians are those who are crossing tracks despite alarms and warnings, distracting themselves with mobile devices, and listening to music so loud that they don’t hear oncoming trains.

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