Railroad safety advocates are urging all drivers to remain vigilant when approaching railroad crossings because safety never takes a summer vacation. According to rail safety education nonprofit Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI) remember these simple tips to drive safely near trains and crossings:
- Trains and cars don’t mix. Never race a train to the crossing — even if you tie, you lose.
- The train you see is closer and faster-moving than you think. If you see a train approaching, wait for it to go by before you proceed across the tracks.
- Be aware that trains cannot stop quickly. Even if the locomotive engineer sees you, a freight train moving at 55 miles per hour can take a mile or more to stop once the emergency brakes are applied. That’s 18 football fields!
- Do not get trapped on the tracks; proceed through a highway-rail grade crossing only if you are sure you can completely clear the crossing without stopping. Remember, the train is three feet wider than the tracks on both sides.
- At a multiple track crossing waiting for a train to pass, watch out for a second train on the other tracks, approaching from either direction.