You might be surprised to learn just how common train accidents are in California. The Federal Railroad Administration Office of Safety Analysis reports 2,635 train accidents in the United States in 2017 alone. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics says that 183 train incidents happened in California in the year 2000. Many people assume that trains are an inherently safe form of travel, but this isn’t necessarily the case.
Causes of California train accidents
Train operators have rules to follow just like any vehicle operator. There are speed limits especially around corners and in cities. Sadly, operators sometimes try to operate under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Weather conditions and even unanticipated fire or vandalism can cause train accidents. Equipment failure is another common problem, and train operators often fail to update equipment and machinery as often as they should. Any of these factors can cause or contribute to a California train accident.
The 2008 Metrolink train crash
One of the most famous California train crashes was the Union Pacific and Metrolink train crash in Los Angeles. It occurred in 2008, and investigators learned that the Metrolink train operator’s texting may have contributed to the crash. The crash occurred when the Metrolink train failed to yield the right of way and ran a red signal. In total, twenty-five people died and many more sustained injuries.
Train accidents can cause significant damage to property and people. Being involved or affected by a train accident is something that should not be taken lightly, contact a personal injury attorney near you if a loved one or yourself have been injured due to a train accident in California.