National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash data tells us:
In 2018 alone, 99 people (a 10-year high) were killed because a driver went around a lowered gate. It’s illegal in EVERY state for you to go around a lowered crossing gate or to ignore signs or flashing lights posted at a railroad crossing. Trains have the right of way because they can't swerve, stop quickly or change directions. Use caution at every railroad crossing.
NHTSA has 7 SIMPLE STEPS FOR SAFELY NAVIGATING RAILROAD CROSSINGS
- Stop, look both ways, and listen. Remember that trains always have the right of way.
- Make sure you have room to get across. Once you enter the crossing, keep moving.
- Stop 15’ away from flashing red lights, lowered gates, a signaling flagman or a stop sign.
- Never try to drive around a lowering gate. Never ignore signals, and always use caution.
- Before you begin to cross, wait for gates to fully raise and for all lights to stop flashing.
- Never assume that there is only one train coming from a single direction.
- If your car stalls in a crossing, get out of there and call the number on the sign, or 911.
DON’T RACE IT. DON’T RISK IT. IT’S NEVER WORTH IT. #crosscarefully
For more information:
Safety Strategies for Railroad Crossings - Automotive Fleet