Brightline Accidents Highlight Need For Train Safety
Injuries sustained in a train accident are rarely superficial. Due to the sheer size and speed of a train, catastrophic injuries and death are often the result. Unfortunately for South Florida, the new commuter train Brightline has the worst fatality rates of any of the 800 plus railroads in the country. Local news reports that in the last month alone there have been five fatalities. Since it began operating, there have been 52 additional deaths.
Brightline is a privately owned railroad that runs between Miami, West Palm Beach, and Ft. Lauderdale. It is a commuter train that began its current route in 2018 and plans are in the works for future expansion. Eventually, it will run all the way from Miami to Orlando. Brightline is the first of its kind in South Florida, and provides a service that many commuters love. Travel time between the cities is shaved down significantly, and commuters are able to access WIFI for work and leisure.
Brightline Fast Facts
- Brightline averages one person struck for every 33,000 miles it’s trains travel.
- The TriRail, which is another commuter train that operates in the same vicinity of Brightline, averages one death every 110,000 miles traveled.
- Brightline trains can travel at speeds up to 125 miles per hour.
- A Brightline train traveling at full speed takes a one-quarter mile to stop.
- The estimated costs for the entire Brightline project is 4 billion dollars.
Common Causes of Train Accidents in Florida
Train accidents happen for many different reasons. While some of the accidents are not the fault of the railroad, others may be. Examples of train accidents that may be the fault of the railroad include:
- Excessive Speed: On average, trains maintain a high rate of speed at 80 mph.
- Derailment: One or more rails come off the tracks, a derailment occurs. While this may be a minor issue at times, if it happens while a train is traveling at a high rate of speed, the result can be catastrophic.
- Failure to Maintain Right of Way and Barriers to Right of Way Access
- Broken Crossing Gates: The crossing gates must always be in good working condition. When they are not, and a car or pedestrian is on the tracks when a train comes through, serious injuries and death often occur.
- Failure to Take Evasive Action: This occurs when the conductor has enough time to avoid colliding with a person, an object, or vehicle.
- Trips, Slips, & Falls: Railroads are responsible for keeping the train and its grounds safe for their patrons. Negligence on the part of the railroad can cause patrons to slip, trip, or fall while on the train or another part of the railway station.
Who Could Be Responsible For Train Accidents
The Department of Transportation Act of 1966 states the Federal Railroad Administration has the authority and responsibility to oversee and promote railway safety regulations.
Since railway companies are legally responsible for the safety of their passengers and pedestrians, they could be found negligent for failing to maintain crossings or for failure to take evasive action. When a train accident occurs, it’s important to hire an experienced personal injury attorney to preserve evidence and obtain essential information. This should include data from the black box installed on all locomotives.
Contact a Florida Train Wreck Attorney at Clark Fountain
At Clark Fountain, our personal injury attorneys have a longstanding history of successfully obtaining significant case results for our clients. If you or a loved one has been injured by a train, or if you have lost a loved one due to a train wreck, contact our firm.