Truck Accident at Maine Railroad Cross a Reminder of Risks

Rescue officials from three different communities were called in to help free the driver of a dump truck hit by a train recently. According to the Bangor Daily News, the 63-year-old driver was heading east on Route 202 when he wasn’t able to stop his truck in time to avoid a collision with a vehicle stopped at the train tracks. The driver veered to miss the stopped vehicle and wound up driving onto the tracks, where he was hit by an oncoming train. Many of the responders were actually surprised that the truck driver made it out alive.At the time of the accident, the bells at the tracks were reportedly ringing, but an officer’s report doesn’t reveal whether the train was sounding its horn or whether additional crossing equipment was present and operational. The crossing reportedly had red lights but no gate. Western Avenue was closed down in both directions so that officials could clean up and reconstruct the accident.

Our Bangor trucking accident lawyers understand that this isn’t the first truck-train accident to happen at this crossing. Back in 2006, a passing train ripped off the rear end of a tractor-trailer when the driver wasn’t able to stop before crossing the tracks. Instead, the driver tried to speed through the crossing to avoid getting hit by the train. After that accident, officers slapped the driver of the truck with a more than $300 fine for neglecting to obey a railroad signal.

As we recently reported on our Maine Injury Lawyer Blog, railroad crossings are threatening a slew of travelers, including pedestrians, passenger cars and even trucks. And to help to make these areas safer for everyone, officials are working together on some research regarding high-risk areas along the Amtrak’s Downeaster rail line and the Pan Am Railway in the Brunswick area.

Commercially licensed truck and semi-trailer drivers were involved in close to 25 percent of train/motor vehicle collisions in the U. . since 1998.

It’s important to remember that a train traveling at 50 mph, pulling 100 cars, takes one mile to stop, so in a contest between a car and a train, the train always wins. A train traveling at 41 mph covers 660 feet — in 11 seconds, which is as far up the tracks as the truck driver can see. Those who drive for a living must practice crossing safety

When driving a large, commercial truck, it’s important that drivers take extra precaution when approaching railroad crossings, red lights, stop signs and any other areas that require a change in movement. To do so safely, drivers should:

-Approach the area with care.

-Turn off the radio and fan to hear the surroundings better.

-Look at listen to a train or other oncoming traffic.

-Do a double take just to make sure.

-Stop no closer than 15 feet from the designated stop area.

-Proceed with care.

-When possible in planning your route, select a route that contains the fewest highway-rail grade crossings.

Truck driver always need to be 100 percent behind the wheel. These vehicles are much more difficult to handle than smaller passenger vehicles.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of an accident, contact us at 1-800-804-2004 for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights.

More Blog Entries:

Maine Railroad Crossings, Technology & Pedestrian Safety, Maine Injury Lawyer Blog, September 14, 2013

Advocates Step Up to Help Curb Distracted Driving Car Accidents in Portland and Elsewhere
, Maine Injury Lawyer Blog, September 27, 2011

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