A Fort Wayne, Indiana couple’s late afternoon ride on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle ended abruptly when the driver skidded to a stop at a nearby railroad crossing. The crossing’s arms were down and the crimson lights flashed to no avail. Blinded by the setting sun, the motorcycle driver never saw these signs until it was too late. With no helmets on at the time of the accident, both the driver and his passenger were rushed to the hospital to be treated for head and face injuries.
To say these victims are fortunate to be alive would be a huge understatement, as motorcycle riders stand very little chance in accidents involving trains. As the case above indicates, even when motorcyclists avoid actual collisions with trains, the surrounding risks may prove to be too much.
This was the case in an accident in California earlier in 2013, in which a 71-year-old rider was killed when he raced a descending railroad arm, attempting to make it over a railroad crossing before an oncoming train arrived. The rider skidded out and hit the barrier. Avoiding the train didn’t help him, however, as this helmet-clad rider died from the injuries sustained from running into the railroad arm barrier.
In perhaps the most dramatic recent motorcycle-railroad accident, a Fort Lauderdale, Florida man and his passenger careened off of an overhead highway, falling 38 feet with the bike onto the train tracks below in 2011. While trains were nowhere in sight, the crash and fall were enough to end the lives of these two young Floridians.
Motorcyclists are advised to take extra caution around railroad tracks, regardless of whether or not they see or believe a train is actually coming. While an automobile is no match for a locomotive, a motorcyclist may face grave danger even when he or she avoids an actual collision.
When rail accidents cause serious injuries and damage, get in touch with seasoned lawyers who can ascertain the damages to which you are entitled.