The SunRail commuter rail system transports about 1800 people per day down its 32-mile track, according to this analysis of recent figures.
Want to know another striking number? In the 15 months Sunrail has been operational, the train has already been involved in 10 incidents. That’s one Sunrail accident per every 47 days of service.
The headlines tell only part of the tale: “Driver trying to ‘beat the train’ caused SunRail crash, police say.”
Getting stuck on the railroad tracks has become so common in Central Florida that the Florida Department of Transportation released this terrifying video to help educate on the public about safety at railroad crossings. Occasionally, the railway is at fault for an accident. Consider the case of malfunctioning or mistimed crossarms, as portrayed in this local investigative report.
So what can you do as a Central Floridian to avoid becoming another Sunrail statistic?
If you’re a pedestrian, use extra caution when crossing railroad tracks. Take off your headphones, and hang up your phone so you can both see and hear an oncoming train. Never walk or play on railroad tracks, even if they appear clear. When on the train platform, steer clear of the edge, and take small children by the hand.
If you’re a train rider, always stay in your seat when the train is moving. If an accident does occur, follow the conductor’s instructions to ensure your safety and keep a clear pathway for emergency responders.
If you’re a driver, approach railroad tracks slowly. When the safety gates come down, stop immediately; don’t try to beat the train! The majority of train accidents are caused by cars getting stuck or stalling between the gates. If your car is in the path of an oncoming train, exit the vehicle immediately and quickly move as far away from the tracks as possible.
Common sense safety measures will keep you safe from most Sunrail train accidents. If you or a loved one have been injured in a train crash and believe the railway could be at fault, please contact Central Florida personal injury attorney Jeff Badgley at (866) 977-1544 for a thoughtful, thorough, free consultation.