COVID-19 UPDATE: We are open! Our team is working and offering consultations via phone, e-mail, and video conferencing.

California has most fatal train crossing accidents

Craig McClellan

According to statistics from the Federal Railroad Administration, California leads the nation in fatal train crossing accidents. Both drivers and train crossing design have been shown to be at fault for these accidents.

Take, for example, the train crossing at Nogales Street in Rowland Heights, California. This is the third most dangerous train crossing in the country, in large part because more than 40,000 cars cross the tracks there every day. There is, on average, more than one fatal accident every year at the Nogales crossing, a statistic the government is hoping to change; they have started work on an underpass to funnel cars under the train tracks.

Of course, building an underpass is no small feat. Between the changes at that railroad crossing and projected modifications to 22 others, it may be 10 to 15 years before we see improvement.

There are numerous railroad crossings that are simply deceptive and unsafe for car traffic. However, drivers can also be at fault. Many accidents occur because drivers choose to stop on the tracks or even drive around gates that are already down because of an approaching train.

That is why it can take a long time before the families of train crossing accident victims find answers. Investigators must look at many factors to determine liability for these accidents. In some cases, the train operator and railroad are to blame. In others, the railroad crossing design contributed to the accident. In still others, the driver put himself/herself in danger.

Learn more about liability for fatal accidents by visiting our page on wrongful death.