Major Causes of Metra Train Accidents and Why Commuter Rail Accidents Continue to Occur
- Injured on the Metra?
- Safety Concerns Prompt Federal Investigation of Metra
- Were You Injured at a Railroad Crossing?
If you are one of the millions of passengers who ride Chicago’s commuter rail system, you should know the risks of riding on Metra. While Metra trains will usually get you where you want to go, sometimes train accidents occur, causing serious injuries and fatalities.
It may surprise you to know that one of the main causes of train accidents is train-operator negligence. All railroads, including Metra and its employees, and especially the drivers of trains, owe you, as a passenger, a duty of the highest degree of care. They owe non-passenger members of the general public, a duty of ordinary care. Sometimes they act negligently, engaging in the following activities:
- Texting. Texting while driving isn’t just dangerous for drivers of passenger vehicles. In fact, texting while operating a train can actually cause even greater harm because of the huge forces that can be involved in train crashes and the many passenger and bystander injuries that can result.Texting has led to deadly rail crashes, which is why train engineers shouldn’t be sending text messages or reading text messages while operating a train.
- Sleeping or dosing off while driving a train. Because operating trains safely is a serious responsibility, train operators must be well-rested and shouldn’t stay up all night before they go to work. Also, they should make sure they aren’t taking medication that can cause them to become drowsy. When they dose off while running a moving train, the safety of those on the train, as well as pedestrians and drivers, could be in jeopardy.
- Speeding. Just as operators of cars need to maintain their speeds according to the posted speed limits, train operators must also adhere to speed limits. Trains are hard to stop, and speeding trains are even harder, and potentially impossible to stop before they crash. Unfortunately, when train operators aren’t paying attention to the posted speed limits, they can cause a train crash.
- Failing to stop. Just because trains run on tracks doesn’t mean that train operators don’t have to pay attention. There are stop signs, speed limits, and other things conductors should be watching for while running a moving train. When they fail to stop at a stop sign, they can cause a train accident involving serious injuries and fatalities.
While Metra states that the safety of its employees, passengers, and the general public is its top priority, all it takes is one negligent train operator to cause a serious railroad accident that can have severe consequences. Additionally, other causes of train accidents could include defective railroad crossing signals, poor track conditions and lack of warning signs. If negligence occurred on any level and caused your injuries or your loved one’s fatal injuries, you need to seek legal counsel.
The attorneys of Lane & Lane, LLC, have experience investigating Metra train crashes and know how to help you seek justice and financial compensation for the damages you suffered. To find out how we can help you, feel free to contact our law firm for a free consultation today.