Accident Prevention Tips Offered As Rail Safety Month Comes To A Close

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This September, transportation authorities from around the state of California observed Rail Safety Month with various initiatives focused on improving the wellbeing of citizens around trains. In conjunction with the month-long event, the Nagelberg Bernard Law Group is offering its own safety tips to commuters.

It’s our hope that the tips we’ve compiled can get citizens to err on the side of caution and keep an accident from derailing their lives and the lives of others

Numerous train accidents have caught the national and global spotlight as of late. These incidents have brought increased scrutiny to the industry as a whole, with many calling for new regulations and the retrofitting of existing cars designed to transport combustible materials. That latter situation has prompted stiff opposition, as depicted in an Associated Press article from July 29, 2013 entitled “Industry Fights Safety Retrofit of Older Rail Cars.”

It’s clear that Rail Safety Month came just in time for California. The initiative hails from the joint efforts of an array of organizations trying to promote safety around tracks. Those organizations include the California Department of Transportation, Operation Lifesaver, Caltrain, and more.

To commemorate the event, the Nagelberg Bernard Law Group wants to encourage safe practices among all citizens long after September draws to a close. Firm partner Larry Nagelberg has represented clients who have been injured in train-related accidents, and he understands that a few simple precautions can go a long way toward promoting safety.

“Our firm is lending its full support to the cause of Rail Safety Month,” said Mr. Nagelberg. “What makes many train accidents so disappointing is the fact that they could have been prevented with common sense. It’s our hope that the tips we’ve compiled can get citizens to err on the side of caution and keep an accident from derailing their lives and the lives of others.”

California citizens can do their part for Rail Safety Month by putting the following tips into action:

•Heed The Gates- The arms that come down at railroad tracks are there for a reason. Many accidents occur due to the simple fact that impatient drivers or pedestrians circumvent gates when they’re down or on the way down. The threat of an accident can be reduced dramatically by simply waiting until the train passes and the gates go up.

•Stay Back- Most crossings will have painted markings which indicate the proper place to idle while waiting for the train to pass. When cars and persons on foot get closer to the tracks than what has been suggested, they place themselves at risk of being struck by debris tossed into the air by an incoming train.

•Don’t Walk On Or Near The Tracks- Train tracks are not pedestrian thoroughfares. Trains are traveling at speeds far quicker than they appear to the naked eye, and people walking along the tracks can slip and fall on the path or simply overestimate the time they have to get out of the way. Tracks should be avoided entirely by pedestrians.

•Minimize Distractions- This has become a go-to tip for safety advice geared toward any number of topics, and train safety is no different. When approaching train tracks, safety can be boosted by doing nothing more than putting down the phone and focusing on the environment. Doing so allows one to hear the ringing of closing gates and the roar of a train engine and to see upcoming traffic coming to a halt.

•Know What To Do If Stuck On The Tracks- There may come a time when a vehicle actually stalls on a pair of train tracks. When this happens, the persons inside need to exit the vehicle immediately and get a safe distance away before contacting the proper authorities. If a train is incoming, those nearby should move away from the tracks but at an angle toward the train itself. That way, the impact of the train striking the vehicle doesn’t thrust dislodged vehicle parts into bystanders.

•Wait, Wait, and Wait Some More- Those who suspect that the gate has malfunctioned and a train isn’t actually coming shouldn’t simply drive forward. Instead, they should use their cellphone to dial rail transit officials, who should be able to indicate whether a train is coming and what the proper course of action will be.

The Nagelberg Bernard Law Group hopes California citizens will work together to make sure Rail Safety Month lives up to its name.

The Nagelberg Bernard Law Group represents the victims of numerous types of personal injury accidents, including dog bites, slip and fall incidents, train collisions, defective products, and wrongful death in any of the above. They have guided injured persons through the legal process for more than 30 years and their efforts have helped secure more than $400 million in compensation for clients. The practice’s website offers free consultations and a host of personal injury resources.

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