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A recent train accident in Central Florida serves as a grim reminder that everyone – including motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcycle riders, and others – should be aware of safety around the train tracks. An Orlando Sentinel article dated March 1, 2019 recounted an incident where a bicycle rider was struck and killed by a SunRail train while traveling along a roadway south of Orlando.

The circumstances indicate that the victim may have been at least partially at fault, so it’s important to review some basic safety tips when you’re in close proximity to train tracks. These recommendations can help you avoid a tragedy, but a Florida personal injury lawyer can advise you on your rights if you’re involved in a train accident.

  1. Understand Train Speed and Stopping: It takes a full mile – that’s roughly the length of 18 football fields – for a locomotive traveling at 55 miles per hour to stop. Plus, the nature of a train means it cannot swerve out of the way. In other words, trains are physically incapable of maneuvering to avoid a It’s up to YOU to keep an eye out.
  1. Never Walk on Tracks: Unless you’re walking over a designated train crossing, do not set foot on the tracks. Even if you can’t see a train anywhere nearby, it’s important to remember that advancements in technology have made these vehicles quieter than ever. You may not hear the train until it’s too late.
  1. Obey All Signs and Signals: Drivers, bicyclists, motorcycle riders, and pedestrians often think they can beat the signal and pass around the Accidents at train crossing occur all too often when they fail. Never attempt to win a race with a train. It’s always worth waiting for it to pass.
  1. Stay Several Feet Clear of Tracks: Many people don’t realize that a train locomotive and cars can extend three feet or more beyond the steel rail. This means that you need to allow a much larger safety zone than you may expect. Always assume that the tracks are in regular use and stay at least 4-5 feet clear of the steel rail to ensure your safety.
  1. Put the Phone Down: Cell phone use in any traffic-related situation is always dangerous, whether you’re walking, riding, or Train accidents are no exception. Just as you’d never operate a car while texting or talking on the phone, you should put it away while you’re anywhere near train tracks.

Set Up a Free Consultation with an Experienced Ocala, FL Personal Injury Attorney 

Though you’re responsible for your own safety around trains, you may have a claim when the incident involves someone else’s negligence. If you or a loved one was involved in an accident please call Piccin & Glynn to learn more about your rights. We can schedule a free consultation  to review your situation, so call 352-581-6174 or visit our website at to set up an appointment at our Ocala, FL office today.