Train safety is a bigger issue than you might think. Did you know that about every three hours in the United States, someone is hit by a train? What a startling statistic!
The good news is that railroad companies such as Norfolk Southern are trying to shrink startling statistics like these. They’ve implemented a public safety campaign, titled “Train Your Brain,” to train the general public to be smart at railroad crossings. They even have a quippy mascot: a large, pink, hapless brain named Brainy and billboards meant to warn against racing a train.
What I’ve found to be most interesting are the facts and tips below:
• Ninety-four percent of all grade crossing accidents are caused by risky driver behavior, according to a report issued by the Department of Transportation’s Inspector General. Don’t race the train!
- Some 400 people are injured and 500 killed annually while trespassing on railroad tracks. Walking or playing on railroad tracks, bridges, yards and equipment is illegal – trespassers can be arrested and fined. The ONLY legal, safe place to cross the track is at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings.
- You are 20 times more likely to die in a collision with a train than in a collision involving another motor vehicle. In fact, more people die in highway-rail grade crossing crashes in the U.S. each year than in all commercial and general aviation crashes combined.
- Never walk down a train track. It can take a train a full mile or more to brake – even after it has hit something – that’s nearly 18 football fields to stop. By the time a locomotive engineer can see a trespasser or a vehicle on the tracks, it’s too late to avoid a collision.
For more information about Brainy and the Train Your Brain campaign, you can visit www.facebook.com/brainysworld.