The FRA released a study showing the top causes of train accidents for the months of January through May of this year. There were three leading causes cited:
- Track defects leading to train accidents – in essence, this refers to poor track maintenance, something that is in the control of the the railroads. Railroads must have enough track inspectors and repair crews available to make sure that tracks are maintained in safe condition.
- Mechanical defects leading to train accidents – this refers to defects in signals and other railroad equipment. This is also a factor within the control of the railroad.
- Human factors leading to train accidents – there are two aspects to this – inadequate training and fatigue. We have written how fatigued truck drivers cause accidents, and the same holds true for train crews. The industry is fighting changes in regulations which would further limit hours of service by rail crews.
In light of the findings that our firm made in its review of the causes of Chicago train accidents, these results are hardly surprising.The study confirms that virtually all of the factors that result in train accidents are subject to control by the railroads. When an Illinois train accident occurs, the services of an experienced Chicago personal injury lawyer can help identify the causes of the train accident, fashion a legal theory of liability against the railroad, and develop evidence to help reach a successful conclusion to the personal injury or wrongful death suit.