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Truck-train collisions are a particular concern in Texas

Texas has the unfortunate distinction of having more railroad crossing crashes than any other state. Last year, 22 people were killed in 232 crashes between vehicles and trains. There were 82 injuries. We were followed not so closely behind by California, which had 167 crashes but 52 deaths. Safety experts say that truck drivers are in particular danger.

Trucks headed to east Houston's Greens Port Terminal need to cross railroad tracks to reach their destination. The hundreds of big rigs that pass over the tracks every day have to get their entire vehicle across the tracks without stopping.

However, the head of a safety group called Operation Lifesaver of Texas notes that "there are signs at these crossings…and they need to be more aware." Signs at the crossings warn that rail cars can be coming down the tracks at any time.

A spokesperson for the Federal Railroad Administration notes that everyone, including drivers, cyclists and pedestrians, needs to be on the lookout for oncoming trains before they cross the tracks. She says that if you see a train in the distance, you should wait until it has passed. She notes that not only does the train have the right of way, but more importantly, it "is a very large object and it can take a mile or more to stop."

As we reach the end of Train Safety Awareness Month here in Texas, it's important to talk about the dangers that truck drivers face around railway crossings. If you're injured or have lost a loved one in a crash involving a train, it's essential to determine what your legal options are for seeking compensation.

Source: Houston Public Media, "Railroad Officials Issue Safety Appeal To Truck Drivers," Gail Delaughter, July 18, 2017

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