Driving through a railroad crossing is something you might not think about. Even if you cross railroad tracks on your daily commute, it may not seem like a likely place for an accident.
Unfortunately, every year many Florida residents are killed or injured in railway accidents. The incidents often involve victims who don’t understand how quickly an accident can occur near train tracks.
Here’s what you should know about staying safe near Florida railroads.
Slow reaction time
The most important facts to keep in mind when encountering a train are that they have very slow reaction times and limited options available in an emergency. People often do not realize how long it takes for the train’s engineer to recognize a hazard on the tracks, and the time it takes to then stop the train.
Depending on its size, speed and other factors, a train could take a mile or more to come to a complete stop. That means that by the time someone on the train sees you or your vehicle on the tracks, it may already be too late to stop.
You can’t make it
When you are in a hurry, it seems like a long time between when a railroad signal starts flashing and when a train finally crosses the road. It can be tempting to scurry across the street so you do not have to wait for the train.
Every year, occupants of cars, trucks, and buses learn the challenging (and often fatal) lesson that there is not enough time to cross if a train is in view. Ultimately, trying to beat the train is not worth the risk.