7 Steps for Navigating Freight and Commuter Train Crossings

7 Steps for Navigating Freight and Commuter Train Crossings

If you assume a train will stop when the engineer sees a car on the tracks, you’re right — but trains need at least 18 football fields of track to reach a complete stop. Don’t risk it.
1. Stop, look both ways and listen. Remember that trains always have the right of way.
2. Make sure you have room to get across. Once you enter the crossing, keep moving.
3. Stop 15 feet away from flashing red lights, lowered gates, a signaling flagman or a stop sign.
4. Never try to drive around a lowering gate. Never ignore signals and always use caution.
5. Before you begin to cross, wait for gates to fully rise and for all lights to stop flashing.
6. Never assume that there is only one train coming from a single direction.
7. If your car stalls on a rail track, quickly get everyone out – even if you don’t see a train coming. Then, run away from the tracks and your car. Avoid running in the same direction that the train is coming, because you could be hit by flying debris if a train hits your car. When it’s safe to do so, call the number on the blue Emergency Notification System sign. If the sign is not visible to you, call 911.
Learn more by visiting the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website.

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