Railroad Crossings Not Added To Most Navigation Apps

Railroad Crossing Accidents

8/28/2019 Car Accidents John Whitfield

As drivers and passengers alike increasingly rely on digital map websites and navigation apps to get from place to place, the more they assume the information is always accurate. As part of this, we expect to see everything depicted online or on the app in a way that mirrors what we see in real life as we drive.

In 2016, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) asked Google, Apple, and Microsoft to add railroad crossings to their navigation apps. Despite NTSB requests, none of them have. Hundreds of people die every year in collisions at crossings, as their smartphones’ GPS applications don’t adequately warn them of impending railroad crossings.

Railroad Crossing Accidents

A train hits someone in America every 115 minutes, often causing a fatality. Railroad crossing accidents are much more common than you’d think, according to the Federal Railroad Administration Office of Safety Analysis, totaling over 3,000 such accidents per year. Train accidents can vary widely, ranging from train collisions with pedestrians and cars to train passengers and employees suffering from the company’s negligence. Railroad crossings without active warnings (lights and/or gates) are dangerous – yet roughly two-thirds of all crossings are protected by nothing but a passive warning sign.

With more than 140,000 railroad highway crossings in the United States, it is easy to see how railroad crossing accidents occur. Beyond highway crossings, there are over 250,000 total crossings across the country. Many of these crossings do not have lights or gates protecting motorists. Since trains take over a mile to brake and slow down, including railroad crossings to online navigation apps is crucial to ensure crossing safety.

Some of the most common causes of crossing accidents include:

  • Crossing gate failure
  • Crossing obstructed by natural plant growth, signage, or other objects
  • Defective or missing signals or gates
  • Derailment
  • Items protruding from the train
  • Line of sight obstruction
  • Malfunctioning crossing arm
  • Trains failing to sound their horns when approaching a crossing
  • Trains not using their lights when approaching a crossing
  • Vehicle and train collision

Railroad Injury Lawyers

Many railroad crossing accidents result in deaths or very serious injuries, such as brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. These accidents are most often due to negligence on the part of the train companies or their employees. If you have been injured in a railroad crossing accident, our Nashville injury lawyers can provide a free initial consultation. We will charge no attorneys’ fees unless and until you get compensation.