Tuesday’s wreck in Southern California is a reminder of the potentially fatal combination of trains and cars.
No one died in the accident, which happened before sunrise when the driver of a produce truck allegedly mistook the train tracks for the road and tried to turn onto them. But at least 28 people were injured, including three in critical condition.
According to Operation Lifesaver, a group dedicated to education around rail safety, injuries and fatalities at railroad-highway crossings are a serious, but often preventable, problem.
Here’s a list of safety tips, courtesy of that group:
- Never race a train to the crossing.
- Be aware that trains are often closer and faster moving than you think.
- Know that trains cannot stop quickly.
- Never drive around lowered gates.
- Don’t get trapped on the tracks.
- If you stall on a track with a train coming, get out and run in the same direction the train is traveling to avoid being hit by debris.
- Go to a designated crossing when you need to cross tracks.
- Always expect a train.