A highway-rail accident took the life of a Marion County, SC, man on Saturday, July 13. Police investigators say the 66-year-old man drove around the deployed train track caution gates and was struck by the oncoming train.
With more than 212,000 highway-rail grade crossings in the country, according to the Federal Railroad Administration, it’s clear that drivers are going to be confronted with delays caused by passing trains. And some drivers are going to ignore the warning systems and try to beat the train across the tracks.
The Federal Railroad Administration’s Office of Safety Analysis reports that in 2012, there were 1,960 highway-rail collisions, resulting in 271 deaths and 930 injuries. And nearly 50 percent of the vehicle/train collisions occurred at crossings with active warning devices such as gates, lights or bells.