Recently there has been news regarding Hudson Valley residents having scary encounters on or near train tracks.

It got me thinking how much that we don't know about being around train tracks (and train safety). There are four key things that New York State says we need to know and be aware of. Ask yourself, did you know about these things?

What do you need to do if your car stalls or gets stuck at a railroad crossing in New York State?

railroad tracks fading into the distance

First and foremost, if your car is stuck on the railroad tracks or at a rail crossing, get everyone out of the vehicle. Out and quickly, even if you don't think that there is a train coming or those tracks haven't been used in years, get them out. Don't take a chance.

Are you safe if you don't actually see or hear a train?

Man with arms outstretched walking down the railroad track at sunset.

No, you are not safe, until you are out of there. Get to the side of the road, out of harms way, this distance is further than you think too, and call 1-800-555-5555. There could be another phone number posted near the train tracks, call that one if it is different. Let them know that your car is stuck or stopped on the track.

This is the one thing that I did not know to do and it really surprised me, that you should do this for your safety.

Photo by Marcus Wallis on Unsplash
Photo by Marcus Wallis on Unsplash

If your car or vehicle is stuck on the train tracks, get out immediately, call the emergency number and then start walking toward the train. Yep, not away from it, toward it, at a 45 degree angle.

Why do you want to walk toward the train? How is that safe?

Photo by Wouter Kloos on Unsplash
Photo by Wouter Kloos on Unsplash

Ok, this totally was counter intuitive to me. The reason you run toward the train, not next to it, but in the direction the train is coming, is for safety. Unless that train is able to stop (and it probably won't be) the train is going to hit your car. There is going to be a significant amount of debris flying everywhere when it does, that debris is most likely to fly in the forward direction of the train. Your being away from the train and in the opposite direction of the debris, will help to keep you safe.


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