Statistically speaking, trains are the second safest way to travel. The only mode of transport that is safer to travel on is planes, with 0.43 deaths per billion passenger-miles caused by trains and 0.07 deaths per billion passenger miles caused by airplanes between 200 and 2009.
In comparison, in the same timeframe and same miles, cars cause 7.3 and motorbikes caused 213. Realistically, the chances of trains causing death are very slim, but that doesn’t stop the possibility of trains derailing and causing serious injury. Remember, just because that is the amount of deaths, doesn’t mean that injuries that are caused are equally as low in number.
If the derailment proves to be more serious than the statistics suggests and you are involved in some way, train accident lawyers can help you to recover medical costs, property damage repairs or any other problems associated with derailment.
What Happens When a Train Derails?
It may sound terrifying to hear, but hundreds of trains derail every year. From 1975 to 2016, more than 117,000 instances of train derailments occured in the United States alone. But many of these resulted in no injuries or minor injuries.
When a train derails, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the train has come off its track, it may be a simple case of the wheels running off their designated rails. Although it’s important to note that even these ‘simple’ derailments can be hazardous to human safety and can cause damage even if the train does not come off the track.
When a train derails, the next step is to get the train back on its track. If the train has derailed at a slow speed, with no hazardous materials on board and with no significant track damage, then the train can easily be pulled back onto the track using rerailing ramps. If the situation is more complex, a series of pulleys, cables and cranes may need to be put into action to ensure the job is done safely and efficiently.
What Causes Train Derailment?
There are a few reasons why a train might derail. While efforts have been made to make sure train systems are much safer than they were when locomotives were first introduced, human error and mechanical failings can still lead to derailments.
Wear and tear on tracks can have an adverse effect on how a train runs on the track, broken rails and the morphing of key components have led trains to be derailed in the past. However, the fault doesn’t always lie on the tracks, trains themselves can be the cause of derailments too, if something goes wrong in the mechanical workings of the train, then there is a higher chance that the train will come off the track.
It’s not just mechanical faults though, the motion of the train paired with speed and the course of the track can have a negative effect on the balance and dynamic of the train’s movement. If the balance gets thrown off, the train may derail.
Will You Be in a Derailed Train?
It’s highly unlikely that a train will derail severely enough to do much more than just inconvenience your day. But that’s not to say it won’t happen. You’d be very unlucky to be in a severe or fatal train derailment as railroad operators have a duty to take care and practice due diligence to protect passengers and the public.
If you are involved in a train derailments, it’s important to hold people accountable for their errors to ensure a safer and more secure journey for passengers that come after you. Every time a train derails it contributes to the research into ensuring it doesn’t happen again, making every journey after that, a little bit safer.
Author: Oliver Curtis
Hi there. I’m Oliver. I’m just a young boy from the outskirts of… Okay, that’s a lie, I’m not a young boy anymore, although I certainly feel that way at heart.