LawCommon Causes of Accidents on the Railway


Common Causes of Accidents on the Railway

While train accidents are not very common, they can be deadly, and often are when they occur. They statistically have the highest number of fatalities along with a large number of catastrophic injuries compared to other types of public transportation. Approximately one thousand people per year will die in a railway accident. Although there are more fatalities per year from car accidents, one train crash can result in more injuries and deaths. While auto accidents tend to be more common, there’s often more carnage involved in a train crash. Some of the main causes of rail accidents include:


There are various groups that railroad accidents due to negligence can be blamed on. In some cases, the accident might be the fault of the railways company itself, while others are due to the negligence of a railroad employee. Some might be due to a negligent government agency, or an equipment manufacturer that works with the railroad or train company. Crossings that are incorrectly operated are one such example of railway negligence that can lead to accidents and injuries to both passengers and employees. A good railroad worker lawyer can help if you believe that you are the victim of negligence on the railroad as an employee.


Train accidents will sometimes occur through no fault of the train company or operator. In some cases, recklessness on the behalf of a pedestrian or driver can cause a collision. For example, somebody might walk or drive onto the tracks at the wrong time and into the path of a train or cause the train to crash as the driver slams on the brakes to avoid hitting the obstacle. Leaving a car or other vehicle parked on a crossing, or trying to get across the crossing when there is a train coming are just two more examples of reckless behavior that can lead to catastrophe.

Defective Tracks

Obstructions on the tracks are a common issue that might sometimes lead to train derailment. For example, if litter or other foreign objects are left at the site where the train is going to pass, this can often be extremely dangerous. It’s important for train drivers and conductors to be aware of their surroundings at any given time, in order to better manage any potentially deadly situations both safely and quickly.

Train Speed

Over time, data on car accidents has only proved to show that driving very fast is more likely to lead to death and serious injury. And the same can be said for trains. In recent years, data from train accidents has found that the faster the train was traveling at the time, the worse the consequences were in the result of a collision. When a train is traveling at high speed, there is a higher chance of it becoming derailed in the event of a crash which can significantly increase the chance of injury or death.

While we might not hear about rail accidents as often as we do car accidents, they can happen for several reasons, and are often very dangerous situations.

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