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Life saving tips for railroad crossings

Railroad accidents and train collisions occur daily resulting in unnecessary injuries and even death. Be a good motorist and obey crossing safety rules and signs and care about your passenger’s safety as well.    

Three words to live by:  Look – Listen – Live

As you approach a railroad crossing, look both ways and listen, because you may have to stop.  Not all railroad crossing have gates and flashing lights. Always obey flashing lights, which indicate if a train is passing through. Once you start crossing over the tracks, do not stall, just continue driving.     

If there are multiple tracks, wait for the train to pass. Do not start crossing over yet. Remember to again look and listen, because just as the caboose passes of one train, starting to pass immediately may place you into the path of another train on the second track. Wait and look until the first train has completely passed and that you have clear visibility of your path and the railroad crossing.      

If you happen to get stuck, boxed or stalled on the tracks, immediately get out of the vehicle and safely away from the car.  If possible, post a lookout in each direction of the track not only to flag a warning to a train, but also to try to move or push the car away from the crossing.  

Never drive onto the railroad tracks located close to a traffic-light intersection. Always allow for some space in front of you so that you are not boxed in, just in case the gates come down or a train is coming. A railroad gate will not trap you, but a red light may slow traffic or completely halt it.     

Never try to “beat the train.” Playing this deadly game can cost you your life and your passengers’ life. When you see a train approaching, slow down, obey the signs and be prepared to stop. Be extra cautious when crossing at night or in inclement weather. It is better to wait those few minutes than to experience a serious accident.   

A lot of times we may travel through the same railroad tracks every day, perhaps several times a day and get used to the train schedules.  Railroads operate around-the-clock and change schedules just as often as we hit bumper-to-bumper traffic on the expressways.

And on a final note, remember, you will always loose with a train.  A locomotive pulling a few hundred cars may be traveling at 60 mph and may require at least a mile or more to slow down or come to a full stop.  A driver may misjudge its speed and distance and the outcome may be calamitous. 

Look!     Listen!     Live!

The law office of Morici, Figlioli and Associates (MLA) specializes in personal injury lawsuits. If you have been seriously injured on-the-job by a passing train, or had an accident at a railroad crossing, contact our office (312) 372-9600 to schedule an appointment.  We are also available by email at  Our friendly staff will promptly reply to your message.