Missouri Train Accidents on the Rise -- Missouri Department of Transportation Promotes Railway Safety Week

Southeastern Missouri residents will probably be shocked to hear that nearly every three hours, a person or vehicle is hit by a train in this country. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has declared April 25-29 as Rail Safety Week. MoDOT is teaming up with the Missouri Highway Patrol, and Missouri Operation Lifesaver to prevent train accidents.

The purpose of Railway Safety week is to educate residents of southeastern Missouri and the rest of the state about the need to follow safety rules at railroad tracks and be careful around railroad property. Missouri ranks in the top ten nationwide in terms of railroad operations - with over 4,000 miles or railroad tracks and nearly 4,000 railroad crossings.

Transportation officials say the number of highway-rail crossing collisions and deaths increased from 32 train accidents in 2009 to 42 train accidents in 2010. This data includes both train accidents involving other vehicles, and involving pedestrians. Tragically, those incidents resulted in eight fatalities in 2010 alone.

To combat this issue, MoDOT seeks to raise the public's awareness. They have produced a public service announcement campaign in conjunction with Operation Lifesaver's "Getting There -- Is It Worth Your Life?" campaign. Both motorists and pedestrians face a choice every time they come to a railroad track -- whether to follow rail safety rules or not; and if not, pay a potentially deadly consequence. This choice is the focus of MoDot's public service campaign.

The Southeastern Missouri personal injury attorneys at Aaron Sachs & Associates, P.C. urge people to stay alert and take extra care when driving across railroad crossings. It is all too easy to take them for granted, especially if you have driven that route many times and never seen a train, or if you are distracted in any way such as by texting or eating while driving driving. Distracted driving always makes the possibility of a fatal train accident or any other kind of car wreck much higher.

Take MoDOT's Train Your Brain quiz to boost your knowledge of rail and light rail safety and you will be automatically entered to win great prizes donated by Missouri Operation Lifesaver, Union Pacific and Amtrak. The contest runs during Rail Safety Week - April 25-29, 2011. Three prizes will be awarded daily by random drawings.

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