When passengers fall asleep on a commuter train, they leave themselves open to all sorts of potentially embarrassing and even risky scenarios. Such scenarios include, for instance:
- Being relieved of personal belongings by quiet thieves
- Suffering injuries by slipping off seats
- Causing others to suffer trip injuries by accidentally sticking a leg out into passages
- Disturbing (or amusing) other passengers by snoring loudly
Missing your station and having to pay to get back to it or perhaps even ending up with a fine for being on a train without a valid ticket are equally possible and definitely unpleasant consequences of falling asleep during train journeys.
Worst case scenario
The worst case scenario, however, comes into play when a commuter train’s driver falls asleep. Rail accidents involving drivers that were too tired to perform their duties safely or have actually fallen asleep at their posts have been reported on several occasions. Some slammed into railway terminals; others rushed past red signals and crashed into oncoming or stationary trains.
Others still failed to notice obstacles, people or animals on the tracks and, by hitting these obstacles at high speed, ended up derailing their trains. Whatever the incident, such railway accidents can cause serious, potentially fatal injuries to drivers, other on-board personnel and passengers alike. The carnage of train-related accidents has got to be every commuter’s worst nightmare.
Railway companies are supposed to ensure drivers get adequate rest periods between journeys to ensure they are fit and alert enough to safely transport passengers without causing personal injuries. Unfortunately, a combination of insufficient numbers of drivers, lack of responsibility and the desire to make as much profit as possible at the lowest possible expense means this is not always the case. In some cases, drivers were irresponsible enough not to report health problems, while others were not aware of problems until it was too late.
New York crash
William Rockefeller, the 46-year-old engineer who derailed a speeding train in New York, killing four people and injuring more than 70 others in December 2013, for example, was not diagnosed with his condition, obstructive sleep apnea, until after the fatal accident.
Compensation for passengers
Passenger injury compensation is not only available to victims of train accidents, but also to passengers hurt in a shipping, plane or road traffic accident, for instance. If you suffered a passenger injury in any type of accident, make contact with Accident Advice Helpline for no win no fee* legal assistance.
Date Published: September 30, 2014
Author: Accident Advice