Tips for drivers:

Trains and vehicles don’t mix. Never race a train to the crossing because even if you “tie,” you lose.


The train you see is closer and faster-moving than you think. If you see a train approaching, wait for it to go by before you proceed across the tracks.


Trains cannot stop quickly. Even if the locomotive engineer sees you, a freight train moving at 55 mph can take a mile or more to stop once the emergency brakes are applied. That’s 18 football fields!


Never drive around lowered gates. It’s both illegal and deadly. If you suspect a crossing signal is malfunctioning call the 800 number posted on or near the crossing signal, or call the Police non-emergency number of 703-792-6500.

Do not get trapped on the tracks. Proceed through a grade crossing only if you are sure you can completely clear the tracks without stopping. Did you know that the train is three feet wider than the tracks on both sides?


Get out of your vehicle immediately if it is stopped, or it stalls, on a track with a train coming. Move quickly away from the tracks in the direction from which the train is coming. If you run in the same direction the train is traveling you could be injured by flying debris when the train hits your vehicle.


Watch for a second train at a multiple-track crossing. One could travel from either direction.


Look both ways when you need to cross train tracks. When it is safe to cross, do so quickly without stopping. It isn’t safe to stop closer than 15 feet from a rail.


ALWAYS EXPECT A TRAIN! Freight trains do not follow set schedules.


 The following tips are from Operation Lifesaver.


Andrew Thomas
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Civil litigation attorney in Virginia and is AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

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