For some individuals, traveling by train is a part of their everyday life. It’s how they get back and forth from work, school or other places around their city.
Unfortunately, as with every mode of transportation, accidents can happen.
Below we’ve listed three of the top causes of train accidents.
1. Human error
In the words of Alexander Pope, “To err is human …”
That cliche isn’t an excuse, but a reality, as human error is one of the leading causes of train accidents in this country.
Just last year, in 2018, the driver of a passenger train caused a collision with a parked freight train because a switch was in the wrong position, causing the passenger train to veer onto a track where the freight train was sitting.
Other causes of train accidents that fall under engineer or human error include:
- Not complying with orders
- Falling asleep
- Cell phone use while driving
- Improper use of brakes
2. Damaged tracks
With more than 140,000 miles of railroads in this country, it takes a lot of work to make sure the tracks are in the best condition, but it’s necessary. Unfortunately, some of these conditions that make the tracks unsafe end up slipping through the inspection cracks, leading to train accidents.
Types of track damage that have led to train accidents include:
- Rails that are worn down
- Track damage due to rain
- Damage and wear around bolt holes
- Damaged welds
3. Faulty equipment
When equipment that either runs or directs a train is faulty, disaster is more than likely imminent.
That’s why it’s imperative that train maintenance and safety schedules, however time-consuming and expensive these tasks can be, are kept up with.
Here are a few examples of equipment failure that have led to train accidents:
- Brake malfunction
- Crossing gate, warning light and/or sound malfunction
- Communication equipment malfunction
- Defective train handrails
If you or a loved one were involved in a railroad accident and are seeking a personal injury attorney or a Tennessee railroad accident attorney, Gilreath & Associates will work to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today at our office in Knoxville, Nashville or Memphis for a free consultation.