California Train Accident Statistics

Study Shows California Leads Nation in Train Injuries When you think of accidents involving vehicles, trains may not come to mind. But train accidents – particularly ones that involve trespassing – are more common than you think. Trespassing is not only illegal, but can also be deadly. Most railroad fatalities – 94 percent – involve people on railroad tracks or drivers hit while trying to “beat the train.”

California Train Accident Statistics

Data from the Federal Railroad Administration shows that there were 994 railroad trespass casualties in 2016. Fifteen states accounted for 72 percent of the total number of accidents. California led the country in both injuries and deaths caused by railroad accidents.
According to a report that compiled the 2016 statistics, California took the top spot for the most injuries, deaths and casualties. There were 90 injuries and 101 deaths. The grand total was 191 casualties – more than twice as many as the second place state, Texas, which had 89 casualties.

What Authorities Are Doing To Prevent Train Accidents

Train collisions in Southern California – particularly in the five main counties – have spiked in recent years. From 2015 to 2016, the number of train accidents increased from 22 to 41.

Since 2011, two deaths have occurred at one intersection – San Fernando Road and Doran Street in Glendale. Another dangerous railroad track is at the 134 Freeway, which has numerous blind spots and shadows that affect the visibility of train engineers.

Infrastructure improvements would be helpful, but they are costly. It can take tens of millions of dollars to make the recommended safety changes to railroad crossings and railroads. One recommendation is to temporarily close off the entrance at Doran Street in order to keep drivers from getting stuck on the railroad tracks. Another plan is to create two overpasses to keep drivers away from the trains which could eliminate the risk of trains and cars colliding at that dangerous intersection.

Railroad police and local sheriff’s deputies are trying to crack down on these fatalities by catching violators in the act. Los Angeles County Sheriff deputies have already detained people and drivers hanging out on the railways. They will continue to conduct enforcement checks through the end of the year.

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