More than a hundred years ago, the Wysor Street Depot opened at 700 East Wysor Street. Now part of the Cardinal Greenway, it is the last train station left in the city, although it now functions as a visitor center and the Cardinal Greenway’s trail headquarters.
Around the time the Wysor Street Depot was first built, Indiana was booming with railroad activity. In the 1920s, the state boasted nearly 7,500 miles of railroad track. Nearly one hundred years later, that number has decreased by about half.
Although rail travel is on the decline in Muncie, there are several railway crossings at intersections and plenty of trains that pass through city limits in a day. It’s inevitable, then, that car accidents with trains happen. Yet, there are still several precautions that a driver can take at a train crossing to decrease their risk of an accident.
Safety Tips for Approaching Muncie Railroad Tracks
- Don’t Rely on a Train Schedule: As you are traveling to work every day, you may notice a pattern if you get stopped by a train crossing frequently, but that does not mean it will happen every day at the same time. Trains can be on any track, going any direction. Don’t get too comfortable relying on any patterns in scheduling you observe throughout your work week. Approach every railroad track as if it’s the first time you’re encountering it.
- Always Yield to Trains: Engineers can only sound a warning horn and apply emergency brakes to stop. However, it typically takes too long for a train to come to a complete stop to avoid a collision with a passenger vehicle. In fact, because there are brakes on every wheel, it takes a tremendous amount of time for the momentum of the train to be overcome. Because of this, it’s up to drivers of passenger vehicles to yield to trains. The train always has the right of way.
- Don’t Ignore Warnings: The speed of a train can be deceiving. Most collisions happen at crossings that have automatic signals because drivers will become impatient and drive around the gates or right through the flashing warnings.
- Don’t Idle on the Tracks: A tricky intersection involving a train crossing is at Broadway and McGalliard, and it can be tempting to wait at the intersection on the train tracks for the light to turn. The best practice is to follow the postings before the intersection and stop before the tracks if the light is red.
- Don’t Walk on the Tracks: It can be tempting to take a shortcut, pose for cool shots, or be a little adventurous by walking on railroad tracks. However, railroad tracks are private property, and it’s difficult to be certain whether or not tracks are active or inactive. Because of this, walking on railroad tracks is always dangerous, potentially illegal, and not worth the risk.
Multiple Causes of Fault
Who is at fault is an essential question that must be determined when trying to win a case in a Muncie train accident. There are several potential reasons why a train accident with a vehicle could happen:
- Mechanical failure
- Track defect
- Electrical failure
- Roadbed defect
- Structural defect
- Track geometry
- Human error
Each of these reasons may point to a different at-fault party. A Muncie car accident attorney can help you determine who was at fault in a train accident so you and your family can get the compensation you deserve.
Hire a Muncie Car Accident Attorney
Train accidents can result in devastating injuries, even death. In the face of such tragedy, you shouldn’t have to fight for your rights alone. Call the Muncie car accident attorneys at Hensley Legal Group today or contact us online for your free consultation to determine your options.