Maryland railroad accidents are more common than most people believe. While trains are not as ubiquitous as they once were in the United States, there is still a significant amount of cargo that is transported across the country by train. In fact, it is estimated that there are about 150,000 miles of active train tracks in the U.S. Much of this track is concentrated around the eastern seaboard, making Maryland a hub for railroad activity.
In addition to active train tracks, there are tens of thousands of miles of unused or abandoned tracks. And while most intersections between train tracks and roads are marked with signage or gates, that is not always the case. This can create confusion for a motorist who may not know if railroad tracks are active. Of course, when a motorist encounters an unfamiliar intersection with railroad tracks, it is always best for that motorist to slow down and check both ways before proceeding across the tracks.
Determining who is at fault in a Maryland train accident can be tricky, and depends heavily on the circumstances of the accident. While not all intersections with railroad tracks are required to have flashing lights or lowering arms, all intersections should be marked appropriately. If gates or lights have been installed, however, they should be adequately maintained. Additionally, the area immediately around the railroad track should be clear of foliage and debris to allow motorists to see if a train is approaching.
One Student Killed When His School Bus Was Blindsided by Passing Train
Earlier this month, one student was killed and another seriously injured when the school bus carrying the two students crossed a railroad track in front of an oncoming train. According to a recent news report, the school bus driver came to a complete stop before the intersection with the tracks, and then proceeded to cross. However, he must not have seen the oncoming train, which broadsided the bus.
The intersection where the fatal train accident occurred was not marked with any signage, gates, or warning lights. However, one witness to the crash told reporters that they could hear the train’s horn sounding as it approached the intersection.
Police have begun an investigation into the accident, and have spoken to the bus driver. A school district spokesperson told reporters that the driver joined the district last August, and had a clean driving record when he was hired. Police have not yet determined if the bus driver will face any criminal charges as a result of his role in the accident.
Have You Been Injured in a Maryland Train Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Maryland train or other large truck accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Due to the nature of the railroad industry, Maryland railroad accident cases should be handled by attorneys who are experienced in such matters. At the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, we represent clients across Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. in all types of Maryland transportation accident cases, including Maryland train accident cases. To learn more, call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free consultation today.
More Blog Posts:
Maryland Rule of Evidence 403: A Question of Probative Value Versus Unfair Prejudice, Maryland Trucking Accident Lawyer Blog, published January 4, 2019.
Can a Truck Driver’s Employer Be Held Liable in a Maryland Truck Accident?, Maryland Trucking Accident Lawyer Blog, published January 18, 2019.