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Atlanta Criminal Defense Lawyers > Blog > Personal Injury > Staying Safe Near Georgia’s Train Tracks

Staying Safe Near Georgia’s Train Tracks


You may think that it’s easy enough to avoid being hit by a train, but then you would also likely be surprised to learn that a car or person is hit by a train every three minutes in the United States. This is in part because people are overly confident about their ability to remain safe driving over train tracks. For instance, most people seem to believe that they will hear a train approaching with plenty of time to move before being hit. In reality though, people are often unable to hear trains until they are too close to move out of their way in time. Additionally, other obstacles, such as slippery tracks, debris on the rails, and unexpected injuries, can all result in unanticipated accidents that an abundance of caution could have prevented. It’s important to understand the laws and guidelines for remaining safe near train tracks not only for the purposes of self-preservation, but also because Georgia is a modified comparative negligence state. This means that if someone is more than 50% responsible for causing their own injury, then they can’t recover anything as a result. For instance, if someone was to break the law by crossing the train tracks at a non-designated area, instead of using a crossing, and they were hit by the train, they may not be able to recover if the jury decides that their decision to break the law and not use a designated crossing area contributed more than 50% to causing the accident that resulted in their injury. This is true even if they otherwise would have been able to recover. For this reason, it’s critical to have a strong understanding of railroad rules and guidelines, particularly when you live near the tracks, as many people do in and around Atlanta and other places in Georgia. 

Safety Tips for Railroads and Train Tracks

  • Never try to beat a train. If you are driving and pulling up to a train track, if you can see a train approaching, do not go. Just wait for it to pass. It’s critical that you never try to beat a train across the tracks. Trains travel faster than they appear to, and accidents may happen in transit, such as your car stalling out or getting stuck. If something were to happen, this would leave you no time to address the issue or maybe even to escape. For this reason, it’s always better to wait.
  • Don’t have selfie sessions on train tracks. Even if you think that a railway is no longer functioning, don’t take any risks. Confirm that a railroad is not operating and that you have permission to be on the property before entering. Recently, there have been a rash of train accidents that occur as people take selfies, because they do not hear or see the train approaching until it is too late. If you are near train tracks, be sure to remain vigilant and try to avoid having your back to the tracks.
  • If your car gets stuck on the tracks, run off the tracks at a 45 degree angle. Why? Because when the train hits your car it is likely to create a huge amount of debris, and by running off at an angle, you may avoid getting hit by it.

Talk to an Atlanta Personal Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one have been injured by a train or at a train station or railway crossing in Atlanta, Dunwoody, Alpharetta, Cobb County, Fulton County, Gwinnett County, Johns Creek, Sandy Springs, or the greater Georgia area, Hawkins Spizman Trial Attorneys are ready to help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with our Johns Creek personal injury lawyers.

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