The Metro-North Tragedy: Why Federal Regulations Should Be Followed

On February 3, 2015, the deadliest crash in the history of the Metro-North system occurred between the train and an SUV. According to several news articles, the SUV stopped on the tracks when the railroad crossing gate came down. The vehicle’s driver stepped out of the car to inspect the back end, got back in, and was beginning to drive forward when the train collided with her car at 58 miles per hour.

The collision resulted in six fatalities, one of them being the SUV driver. Several others on the train sustained serious injuries and required medical care. A fireball erupted because of the impact of the collision, contributing to the seriousness of the accident. This deadly incident can teach us a great deal about the importance of federal safety regulations.

Why Federal Regulations Are in Place & Should be Respected

For many drivers, commercial and noncommercial alike, federal regulations for train safety can seem like just one more thing to remember while on the road. As evidenced by the Metro-North accident, however, these regulations can mean the difference between life and death.

Train crews and passengers are at risk anytime a vehicle chooses to ignore safety regulations. Five passengers on board the Metro-North were killed as a result of the SUV driver’s choice to stop on the tracks, something which is clearly prohibited by federal law. Most drivers forget that trains always have the right of way.

Trains even have right of way over the following:

  • Emergency vehicles
  • The police
  • Commercial drivers

This means that by disregarding federal regulations, drivers automatically establish themselves as the responsible party should a train accident occur. If you were recently injured in a train accident, either as a passenger or a crew member, you should not have to silently endure your suffering. Our firm may be able to help you pursue compensation by holding the responsible party accountable.

Scheduling your free consultation with a Dallas personal injury lawyer is the first step toward achieving justice. Call Lenahan Law Firm today to get started.


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