According to the Federal Railroad Administration, Harris County leads the state in the number of highway-rail incidents this past year. There were 38 in Harris County and the next highest was Dallas County with fifteen.
In 2019 there were 251 recorded highway-rail incidents in Texas and that number has been on the rise since 2016.
Last year 31 people died in these train-related incidents in Texas, so while most of us have likely heard about the importance of being safe around train tracks, it’s something we can certainly improve on as a state and especially here in the Houston area.
“You always want to use caution when approaching a train crossing. If you get into a collision with a train, you are 40 times more to be killed than in a collision with another car, so always expect a train,” explained Daniel Armbruster with AAA Texas.
Operation Lifesaver, an organization dedicated to rail safety education offers this safety advice:
-Only cross at a designated public crossing area.
-Do not cross tracks immediately after a train passes as there may be a second.
-Obey all signs and warning lights/signals at a crossing.
-Stay alert by avoiding distractions such as our cell phones.