Over the weekend, a terrible accident occurred on the east side. A woman
and a three-year-old child were injured when the car in which they were
riding crashed into an Amtrak train. The train was heading from New York
to Chicago and was just about to make a stop in Indianapolis when the
accident occurred at 2:45 on Saturday afternoon.
After firefighters spent fifteen minute extricating her from the vehicle,
the 20-year-old woman was taken to IU Health Methodist Hospital in critical
condition. The child, who was in a car seat, was taken to Riley Hospital
in good condition. Though there has been no word about the cause of the
accident, witnesses told firefighters that the car hit the train. No one
aboard the train was injured.
How Common Are Train Accidents?
Train accidents still injure and kill more than a thousand people each
and every year, but there has been a great deal of progress over the past
30 years. Railroad crossing accidents are down 78% from the early 80s,
while fatalities arising from those accidents have decreased by 66%. Though
injuries caused by railroad accident are up slightly over the past two
years, the overall decrease since 1981 is over 70%.
An accident involving a motor vehicle and a train is certainly less likely
to occur than an accident between two motor vehicles. An accident with
a train, however, is far more deadly. A driver who gets into a crash with
a train is 20 times more likely to die in that crash than is a driver
who gets into a collision with another automobile.
What Factors Can Contribute to A Car-Train Accident?
As with many other kinds of accidents, there are many factors that can
contribute to a collision between a motor vehicle and a train. There is,
of course, human error, which can occur on the part of the train engineer
or the driver of the automobile. Either vehicle operator can misjudge
a situation or could potentially be driving distracted or under the influence
of drugs or alcohol. Speed or failure to adhere to traffic safety laws
may play a role. Bad weather or visual disturbances, such as can occur
when the sun is bright and low, may cause an accident.
The design of the railway crossing may also be part of the problem. Investigators will routinely look at the lines of sight and obstacles that may have obscured the vision of a driver. They also review whether the railway crossing warning systems were appropriate for that particular crossing and look into whether they were visible and operating correctly at the time of the accident.
Train companies have powerful insurance companies, so if you or a loved
one are injured in a collision with a train, it is critical to employ
an experienced attorney. This is one scenario in which you do not want
to find yourself alone, especially if you are healing or grieving. The
auto accident attorneys at Wagner Reese have spent decades working on cases like these for vulnerable
clients and their families. Call us today for a no-cost, risk-free consultation: