Between New York City’s subway system and cargo and passenger trains traveling throughout the United States, one must wonder about the safety of traveling by rail. As reported by USA Today, a young man died recently when his clothing became caught in the doors of a subway car, and the rail car dragged him to his death. Cargo trains striking vehicles on rail crossings and passenger train derailments also contribute to the death and injury toll from train accidents. Contrary to the impression these news stories might leave, though, statistics show that travel by rail is one of the safest methods for passengers and the general public. Please continue reading as our railroad injury lawyer explains train safety.
Railway Death and Injury Statistics
Preliminary statistics from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) show that in 2021, a total of 2,145 collisions took place at public and private rail crossings. These collisions resulted in 234 fatalities and 669 injuries.
Another 599 people died, and 522 suffered injuries in trespassing incidents, where trains struck pedestrians walking on rail tracks without permission.
The vast majority of crossing collisions took place in California and Texas. New York did not register in FRA’s top 25 states for rail crossing collisions or trespasser casualty incidents.
Statistics from the National Safety Council also show that in 2021, a total of 5,781 individuals suffered non-fatal injuries in all types of rail accidents, while 893 people died in rail-related accidents, including two train passengers.
Statistics on Injuries and Death on New York Subways
The Washington Post found that in 2020, the Metropolitan Transporation Authority (MTA) reported 169 collisions involving a person and a subway train in New York City. These collisions resulted in 63 deaths.
These numbers are in addition to those reported by the FRA.
Comparison with Other Modes of Transportation
When looking at the number of deaths and injuries from car accidents, it is clear that travel by train is a much safer option. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates over 42,000 individuals died in traffic crashes, which is over 42 times the number of people who died in rail accidents.
Rail travel was less safe than travel by air, though. According to the National Safety Council, in 2020, no one died in the United States due to a commercial aviation accident. In the general civil aviation field, there were 348 onboard deaths. That is fewer than half the number of deaths attributable to rail accidents.
Rail Injury and Death Claims Can Be Complicated
If you are injured in a rail accident or a loved one perishes in one, there can be complicated matters of local, state, and federal laws that determine your rights. The Law Offices of Kenneth Hiller, PLLC and our railroad injury lawyers are skilled and knowledgeable in resolving these unique injury claims.
Our firm offers prospective clients a free, no-obligation case consultation. Schedule your evaluation today to go over the facts of your case with a dedicated New York railroad injury lawyer.