A driver for ABC Timber Resources was on his last trip of the day to the mill with a load of logs. He had crossed the railroad tracks all week driving from the loading area to the mill. He had never seen a train at the crossing so he was not paying attention to the crossing area. As he was getting closer to the tracks he saw the lights flashing at the crossing. He saw the train, but did not think the train was traveling very fast. The driver sped up to try to beat the train, but as the truck crossed the tracks the train hit the trailer dragging the truck 1,000 feet down the tracks and causing a derailment. The truck driver was taken to the hospital along with the train’s engineer.
The police cited the driver for not yielding to the train at the railroad crossing. The railroad sued ABC Timber Resources for the cost to repair two train engines, over 1,200 feet of track, and for the train engineer’s medical expenses. ABC Timber Resource’s logging truck sustained major damage and was out of service for 90 days. The driver sustained soft tissue injuries and was out of work for three months.
After the accident, ABC Timber Resources held a meeting with the employees to reinforce the need for safety when crossing railroad tracks. The safety manager developed new procedures for drivers to follow when approaching and crossing railroad tracks to help prevent accidents like this from happening in the future.
Risk Factor #1
A train can travel on the tracks at any time. Trains always have the right of way, never trespass or cross tracks illegally, and always expect a train at crossing.
Risk Factor #2
Drivers should never think they can beat a train. Due to their large size, trains can appear to be traveling much slower than they actually are, making the train appear to be farther away than it is.