As we’ve discussed before, when an accident happens, size can matter a great deal. Usually this refers to large SUVs or tractor-trailers that massively outweigh small passenger vehicles. In these cases, the imbalance in size and weight can result in serious injury or death to those in the smaller vehicle. Though tractor-trailers can be many times larger than a passenger vehicle, leading to a potentially deadly disparity, trains are on an entirely different level. Rather than weigh several tons, trains can weigh several hundred tons. Stopping distance is multiples longer than even the heaviest semi truck. In every respect, passenger vehicles are outmatched by locomotives, meaning that if the two come into contact, it’s almost guaranteed that those in the passenger vehicle will suffer serious harm.
Mississippi has seen it’s fair share of destruction caused by trains. In the past year or so there have been a number of fatal accidents that have grabbed newspaper headlines. Just this past week there was another, this time in Jackson, MS. The accident occurred this past Thursday at the intersection of Boling and Bullard Street in West Jackson.
Police say that they are still investigating the crash, but believe that the driver of the passenger vehicle was trying to beat the oncoming train. The warning gates at the intersection were coming down when the car crossed onto the track. Tragically, the driver wasn’t able to get away fast enough and his car was hit, eventually split into the two pieces and completely destroyed. The train was operated by Kansas City Southern Rail Company.
Safety experts say the recent accident highlights just how dangerous trains can be. Safety experts say that drivers need be vigilant and drive defensively when near train tracks. Something important to keep in mind is that trains are lot closer and often are moving much faster than what you may think. Looking down the tracks, it can seem like you have enough time to get past an oncoming train, but that is almost never the case and drivers should always, always, yield.
Trains can never stop quickly enough to avoid an accident, so it’s up to drivers to avoid the crash in the first place. Though this accident appears to have occurred at an intersection with a gate and an arm, most don’t. In these cases, drivers need to be especially vigilant. Watch and listen carefully before proceeding onto the track. Pay attention and move quickly out of the intersection, limiting your time on or near the intersection.
If you have been injured in a Mississippi car, motorcycle or tractor-trailer accident and think you may have a personal injury claim, please contact the Mississippi personal injury attorneys at Kilpatrick & Philley at (601) 856-7800.