Teen Drivers and Railroad Safety

Drivers may sense frustration when they are required to stop at a railroad crossing. However, as a teen driver it is important to understand all the dangers that are associated with driving including rail safety. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, in 2017 there were over 2,000 collisions reported at railroad crossing in the United States. 1  

Safe Kids recommends that if the lights are flashing or the gate is down at a railroad crossing, wait for the train to pass completely, the gates to lift and the lights to stop flashing before crossing. It is never okay to rush across and try to beat the train.

Here are a few other important safety rail tips to know:

  • Trains are typically closer and faster than you think.
  • Once a train starts to brake, it can take a mile for the train to stop. So, when you see a train, it’s already too late. 1
  • If your car ever stalls on the tracks, immediately get out and away from both the vehicle and the tracks. Once you are safely away from the vehicle and the tracks, locate the Emergency Notification System sign and call the number to inform them about your vehicle. 2
    • The Emergency Notification system sign is typically near the train tracks, that provides an emergency number and the rail crossing number which correlates to your exact location.
  • Trains are wider than they look. That’s why it is important to allow yourself enough time to completely clear the tracks before attempting to cross. If not, you could still be at risk for getting hit by the train. 
  • Look for a second train! It is important to know that a train could be passing through the opposite direction that you may not be able to see right away.
  • Be aware of school buses and trucks that are required to come to a complete stop before traveling over the train tracks.

Remember to keep these tips in mind while traveling on the road. It can save your life.