Thursday, February 12, 2015

What to Do if Your Car Is Stuck on the Train Tracks

After last week's ridiculous accident where a woman in her SUV saw a  Railroad gate crossing come down in front of and behind her car, she got out of the car to see if there was any damage on the back of it from the gate. Nevermind the fact that a TRAIN was coming. - I saw reports on CBS News that the guy in the car behind her (and on the correct side of the gate) was waving frantically to her to get her to RUN away from the car. Instead, she went back INSIDE the car!!!
   Moments later, the passenger train plowed into the SUV and carried it 1,000 feet, killing her and 8 commuters in the train and injuring many others. - If the car is stalled, get out. If you see the gates coming down drive through them or around them. Don't sit in the car!!!!!
   In our opinion, driving over a track to "Try and get over it before the train comes" is really STUPID. Is it worth your life and the lives of commuters to get ONE car-length ahead in traffic (and not be able to move anyway)? Of course not. 
   The driver was not competent to drive. Railroad crossing safety is an important and critical part of a drivers license test. Our sympathies are with the train operators and passengers who lost their lives or were injured. Unfortunately, there are many people driving that shouldn't be and they cost the lives of innocent victims.    
   SO, Next time you approach a Railroad crossing, DO NOT go over it if there is the bumper of a car stopped on the other side of it. PLEASE.  - Rob and Tom
The NY Train accident Credit: Christopher Gregory for The New York Times

NOW, Here's the New York Times article about  What to Do if Your Car Is Stuck on the Train Tracks

What should people do if their cars are stuck on railroad tracks with a train rushing toward them?

It’s a terrifying question, but on Wednesday, the day after a Metro-North Railroad train barreled into a sport-utility vehicle in Valhalla, N.Y., killing six people, safety experts emphasized some best practices.

Rule number one, of course, is get as far away from the tracks as possible. But some experts say there is a particular direction you should try to run: Away from the tracks at a 45 degree angle, in the direction from which the train is coming.

Train/Car accident image from the Internet
“That actually means run toward the train,” said Joyce Rose, president of Operation Lifesaver, a nonprofit rail safety education group. “I know it seems counterintuitive, but this is to avoid being hit by flying debris. When you run toward the train, you run away from the site of the potential collision.”

It is better to take an angle, rather than run directly parallel to the tracks, because trains can overhang the tracks by about three feet on each side, Ms. Rose said.

According to the most recent annual data from the Federal Railroad Administration, in 2013, 142 people were killed and 733 were injured when trains crashed into motor vehicles.

While commuter trains are designed to stop and start frequently, freight trains, which are generally much heavier and longer, can be even more dangerous, experts say, because they can take nearly a mile to come to a full stop, even when the emergency brake is thrown.

“A freight train hitting a car is like a car hitting a can of pop, it’s a huge mass difference,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president of the National Safety Council. “But just because commuter trains can stop more quickly doesn't mean they can stop before they actually hit you.”

Train/Car accident image from the Internet
Of course, the safest possible scenario is not to be in that situation at all. Safety advocates emphasize that drivers sitting in traffic, for example, should be sure there is enough room to clear the tracks before they move forward, rather than staying on the tail of the car in front just because the light is green.

“My father-in-law has a saying,” Ms. Hersman said. “How do we drive on the ice? And then everyone says, ‘We don’t.’”

Reporting on the Metro-North train crash was contributed by Lisa W. Foderaro, Winnie Hu, Thomas Kaplan, Corey Kilgannon, William K. Rashbaum, Marc Santora, Nate Schweber and John Surico, and research by Susan C. Beachy

Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next