Do you ever find yourself thinking about railroad safety? Probably not, yet many of us must cross railroad tracks to get to our destination on a weekly basis. Railroad crossing incidents and fatalities continue to be a long-standing problem, but they are easily avoidable. Trains cannot swerve, stop quickly or change directions to avert collisions, so motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists must always be alert. It can take a freight train traveling 55 miles per hour a mile or more to stop after emergency brakes are applied—the length of 18 football fields. Every three hours a person or vehicle is hit by a train in the US. We must remember to slow down, be cautious and Stop. Trains Cant.

Railroad Safety Tips

Below are rail road safety tips for when you are behind the wheel, walking or riding a bike.

  • ALWAYS EXPECT A TRAIN! Freight trains do not follow set schedules
  • Check that you have enough room: on the other side of the tracks before crossing
  • Look and listen: don’t rely on hearing a train horn, operators do not always use it
  • Never stop on the tracks: if car stalls exit immediately
  • Cross at designated railroad crossings: such as crosswalks or overpasses
  • Stay alert: when crossing railroads or standing near the platform – it is easy to get distracted by phones music and conversation
  • Never stop on the tracks: it is illegal to walk along or play on the tracks
  • Cross at a 90 degree angles: with bike, stroller or wheelchair to avoid wheels getting stuck
  • Cross at designated railroad crossings: with crosswalks flashing red lights or a gate
  • Walk, Don’t Ride Across Tracks: wheels can get caught between the rails
  • Be cautious of weather: wet train tracks can be slippery, dismount and walk your bike across the tracks
  • Watch out for second train: wait after the first train passes until you can see clearly in both directions.


About every three hours, a person or vehicle is hit by a train in the U.S.