Posted by Jim Yeargan in DUI Laws on September 19, 2016
When motor vehicle drivers who have been using alcohol encounter trains, the results are frequently catastrophic. A reminder of this deadly combination occurred last month in Atlanta, but fortunately the driver in this situation was able to escape from his minivan prior to the motor vehicle being struck by an oncoming train.
Law enforcement believes that the driver at the time was under the influence of alcohol when his van stopped on the railroad tracks. The driver in this incident was subsequently arrested, charged with several offenses including DUI, improper turning, and improper stopping, and eventually placed in jail. It is imperative that motorists in Atlanta understand the substantial harm that can occur when motorists combine alcohol use with traveling too close to train crossings.
The Prevalence of Train Accidents in Georgia
Motorists must understand that railroad accidents involving pedestrians are often severe in nature and involve substantial injuries. Perhaps surprisingly, there are a significant number of pedestrians injured each year in railroad accidents. The Bureau of Railroad Transportation reports that 601 individuals died during accident in 2010.
A substantial number of these accidents involved motor vehicle drivers who were operating automobiles while under the influence of alcohol.
Relevant Law Concerning Railroad Accidents
There are several laws concerning the role that alcohol plays in railroad accidents. It is important for individuals to understand the influential role that the Federal Railroad Administration plays in these types of situation. The Federal Railroad Administration investigates railroad accidents and requires many railroad workers involved in railroad accidents to provide urine and blood sample for alcohol testing.
In many situations, even though it might be the responsibility of a railroad worker who was intoxicated, pedestrians who are injured in railroad accidents are able to successfully pursue legal actions against railroad companies for negligently hiring and monitoring the railroad workers.
Types of Railroad Accidents
Railroad accidents involving motorists who are under the influence of alcohol can occur in a variety of ways. Some of the most common types of railroad accidents involving DUIs include:
- Accidents while individuals are riding too close to a moving train,
- Collisions between motor vehicles and trains, and
- Pedestrians who are struck by trains.
Steps to Avoid Railroad Accidents
Fortunately, there are some simple steps that all motorists can take to avoid railroad accidents. These cautionary steps include the following:
- Everyone should take care to read and obey any signs posted near railroad crossings.
- Individuals who are near a railroad should take care to listen for any whistles or bells that can be heard in the distance from an approaching train.
- Motorists and pedestrians should make sure to cross railroad tracks at both the designated locations and at the allocated times that such crossings occur.
- Motor vehicle drivers whose vehicles stall near train tracks should make sure to immediately get out of the vehicle and move away from the location.
- Pedestrians should take care to never walk or play along train tracks. Not only is such activity particularly dangerous, in many locations this behavior is also illegal.
How an Experienced DUI Attorney Can Help
If you have been involved in a train accident that involved the use of alcohol, contacting an experienced DUI accident attorney at Yeargan & Kert, LLC can help you navigate the various issues that might arise and ensure compensation is awarded for any resultant damages.