When it comes to train accidents arising from a crossing signal failure, there are two main elements to consider.
- The signal giving instructions to the train driver
- The signal giving instructions to motorists and road users
The consequences of accidents with trains tend to be extremely serious. Thankfully, they are also rare, particularly when compared to other forms of road traffic accidents. However, they can still strike, often tragically, leaving victims usually severely wounded and in need of travel accident compensation.
Train transport accidents and crossing signal failure – the train
Signals for trains are erected beside the railway line and are used to pass information and guidance regarding the upcoming sections of the journey to the driver of the train.
Their most common function is to inform the driver of a speed at which they can proceed safely, or that they need to stop.
Given these instructions, it’s easy to see how a crossing signal failure can easily cause a catastrophic railway accident. Aside from an actual train collision between two engines, level crossing accidents are probably the most fear-inducing element of train travel.
Train accidents and crossing signal failure – motorists
The job of crossing signals, from a motorist’s point of view, is to give plenty of warning that a train is approaching and that the barriers are about to come down. Car drivers and motorcyclists should stop the moment the lights begin to flash.
Under no circumstances should anyone risk trying to quickly cross before the barriers are lowered. The consequences of getting stuck outweigh the benefits of saving a few minutes of your journey, by so much that it is a risk that makes absolutely no sense.
Of course, if the signals have failed to work, then getting stuck becomes more likely. In this situation, time is of the essence. Forget the car, you and anyone else there need to get out and away from the rails as soon as possible.
By the time a driver sees a stricken vehicle up ahead, it is too late to prevent a train accident. They simply move too fast and take too long to stop.
Help is available to those who are victims of a serious railway accident and suffered subsequent injuries whilst travelling.
Accident Advice Helpline offers a freephone service on 0800 689 0500 for initial consultation, and can then take your case for train travel accident compensation on a no win, no fee basis.
Date Published: December 15, 2013
Author: David Brown