How do you get around Phoenix? Do you walk, take a bus, or take your own personal car? Ever hop on the light rail for a quick trip? If you are like most residents, you probably have a primary mode of transportation but may use other forms on occasion. Even if this is the case, though, it is unlikely that you appreciate how interconnected these transit forms are to one another and how their actions can affect the safety of others.
Many people in Arizona drive on a daily basis. These motorists may focus on their safety on the roadways, at intersections, and at stop signs but they may give less thought to non-drivers. Simply put, people tend to focus on issues that affect them personally, and if a driver never takes a city bus, for example, the driver is likely to be less aware of safety issues surrounding bus passengers. This flawed logic holds true when it comes to train safety as well.
There may not be a ton of train traffic in Phoenix when compared to the rest of the nation but that which exists often crosses paths with vehicular, pedestrian, and motorcycle traffic at street-level crossings. Now, new data states that five of the nation’s 13 most dangerous railroad crossings are located right here in the Phoenix area.
The data was compiled based upon the number of train accidents at more than 200,000 crossings monitored by the Federal Railroad Administration over the last 10 years. Arizona was the only state with more than one crossing in the top 13, and with five such crossings, it is raising extreme concern among safety experts and the general public here.
Phoenix can claim the first, second, and fifth worst crossings for traffic incidents in the last decade while the third and 12th are in Glendale. The specific locations are West Thomas Road east of North 27th Avenue in Phoenix; North 35th Avenue south of U.S. 60 and West Indian School Road in Phoenix; North 43rd Avenue south of U.S. 60 in Glendale, North 27th Avenue north of West Thomas Road in Phoenix; and the 5100 block of West Bethany Home Road in Glendale.
All of the Arizona intersections had multiple traffic collisions in the last 10 years with the West Thomas Road crossing claiming 24 incidents.
These numbers serve as an important reminder that even if you do not utilize travel by train, train safety can still play a factor in your life as trains and cars cross paths every single day. If you drive in Phoenix, make sure you always yield to oncoming trains where appropriate and never try to beat a train to a crossing. Obey any signaling devices, including gates, at a crossing and try to be patient while waiting for a train to clear.
Know that victims of train accidents in Arizona may be entitled to financial compensation for their damages if they are hurt, but as any amount of payment cannot erase the damages done, it is always desirable to avoid these incidents when possible.
Prior Blog Entry:
Know Before You Ride: Motorcycle Safety Tips, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, published April 26, 0216.
Phoenix area has 5 of the nation’s most dangerous railroad crossings, by Bill Theobald, Republic Washington Bureau, azcentral.com, published April 22, 2016.