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What Should Drivers Do If Their Car Stalls on Railroad Tracks?

Brandon Evans   |  March 10, 2017   |  

A recent collision involving a train and car serves as a reminder that few of us know what to do if our car stalls on train tracks. Per WITN-TV, last month, one person was killed and another person was seriously injured when their car was hit by a train after the vehicle broke down on a set of railroad tracks in Fayetteville. Reportedly, the incident happened around 2 am after a vehicle carrying four people stalled on the tracks. Rescuers attempted to get everyone out of the car before the train collided with it, but only two of the four occupants escaped in time. The train crashed into the vehicle less than two minutes after it stalled on the tracks, according to WITN-TV.

What to Do If Your Vehicle Gets Stuck on Railroad Tracks

A New York Times article featured tips on what drivers should do if their vehicle breaks down or gets stuck on railroad tracks as a train is approaching:

  • The first thing to do is get out of your vehicle and as far away from the tracks as possible.
  • When you escape your vehicle and begin heading away from the railroad tracks, make sure to run in a 45-degree angle in the direction the train is coming from. This sounds counterproductive because you are running towards the train, but it enables you to run away from the potential crash site and avoid flying debris.

In addition to providing advice about what to do if your vehicle gets stuck on train tracks, the Times article has suggestions for what to do to avoid getting stuck on railroad tracks. Most notably, you should never drive your car onto train tracks if there is not enough room to clear the tracks because of heavy traffic.

Do you feel like there is more that could be done to prevent trains from striking cars and trucks? If so, what do you think should be done to prevent trains from crashing into vehicles? Share your thoughts in the comment section below or on our Facebook, Twitter or Google+ pages.