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Passenger Train Accident Statistics

Categorized as Catastrophic Injuries, Personal Injury, Wrongful Death

On Monday afternoon, June 27, several cars derailed off an Amtrak train traveling between Los Angeles and Chicago. At a crossing in northern Missouri, a collision between a train and a dump truck led to a fatal accident.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, more than 200 passengers were on board the train when the accident happened at 12:45 p.m. Initially, two individuals on the railway and one person in the dump truck, per early police reports, were killed in the collision.

Now, police report that four individuals have perished, including the truck driver and three railway passengers. Tuesday, one of the passengers was declared deceased at a hospital in Columbia. The Amtrak accident at Mendon, around 115 miles northeast of Kansas City, resulted in 150 further injuries. As of Wednesday, at least 13 individuals remained hospitalized.

Tuesday morning, a 14-member team from the National Transportation Safety Board arrived at the accident scene to start an investigation. Former U.S. Department of Transportation Inspector General Mary Schiavo said that the steep slope and condition of the railroad crossing will be the focal points of the investigation.

Jennifer Homendy, chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board, said on Tuesday that the agency will investigate the circumstances before the event. According to Homendy, officials will gather evidence via a variety of channels. For instance, authorities will first do a digital download of data from the onboard recording device. This would reveal aspects such as the use of the train horn, the train’s speed before the crash, and the use of the brakes.

Passenger Train Accident Statistics

Passenger Train Accident StatisticsIn addition, the tragedy has heightened the existing discussion in the United States over railway finance and safety problems.

A passenger train disaster is comparable to an airplane accident in that they are both often fatal and horrific, but ultimately rare. Amtrak has just five fatal train accidents from 2006 to 2014, according to Federal Railroad Administration safety reports. The Federal Railroad Administration classifies railway incidents as collisions, derailments, explosions, or divine intervention. During the same time frame, commuter trains were involved in 32 accidents throughout the nation.

The leading causes of railway-related fatalities are trespassers on tracks and vehicular accidents near railroad crossings. According to the FRA, these events accounted for roughly 97% of rail fatalities in 2013. During the same year, there were over 100 trespasser deaths involving Amtrak or commuter trains.

Safety Concerns Following Missouri Train Accident

In the last five years, Amtrak has carried more than 30 million people despite its aging train fleet. In 2015, the Northeast Regional, Empire Service, and Southwest Chief set ridership records for Amtrak.

Still, travelers may question if they are genuinely secure on passenger trains in the United States. Kevin Hassett, director of economic policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, evaluated the numbers. And Hassett observed that while American train travel appears statistically safe compared to its European equivalents, it nevertheless falls behind.

A passenger would have to travel 4.9 million miles on a French train or 4.1 million miles on a German train to have a transit-related injury, according to statistics from 2004 to 2012. This number is far lower in the United States. Hassett determined, for instance, that a passenger on an American railroad would only need to travel 84,300 miles before sustaining injuries. After adjusting for the ratio between kilometers and miles traveled, Hassett’s research reveals a disturbing fact: Amtrak passengers in the United States are injured approximately sixty times more often than French rail passengers.

As seen by the data and the tragedy that occurred in Missouri on Monday, authorities must prioritize passenger safety.

Train Accident Attorney in Kansas City

A railway accident may have catastrophic consequences for everyone involved. Unfortunately, victims of such occurrences often receive life-threatening injuries or even die away. However, if you’ve sustained injuries in a railway accident, you could seek legal recourse.

A timely consultation with a Kansas City train accident attorney might make a significant difference in achieving the justice you deserve.

If a railway disaster has upended your life, do not hesitate to talk with an attorney. Call the Kansas City train accident attorneys at Peterson & Associates, P.A. for additional information about filing a claim. Our competent, compassionate legal team is available 24/7, so don’t hesitate to call us at 816-888-8888.