Concerns about Amtrak

New Jersey Train Accident Lawyers discuss Amtrak train accidents. Federal investigators are looking into the causes and details surrounding the rise in Amtrak train accidents over the past ten years. According to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), the rate of Amtrak accidents compared to the miles traveled rose from 41.1 in 2008 to 58.8 in 2017. In that time, the number of people fatally injured in Amtrak crashes went from 119 in 2008 to 167 in 2017. Of these deaths, only 12 of those killed were passengers on the trains. Pedestrians and collisions with vehicles crossing train tracks account for the majority of train accident fatalities.

A spokesperson for Amtrak said the company is focused on improving railroad safety and reducing the number of accidents that occur, specifically at railroad and roadway intersections. The National Transportation Safety Board is working with Amtrak to study the causes of its train crashes and to establish improved safety.

Causes of Recent Amtrak Train Crashes

In just the past 18 months, there have been five major Amtrak train accidents on the portion of the rail line that runs between South Carolina and Washington, DC. Sixteen people died and hundreds more injured in these crashes. Though causes vary, some patterns have emerged.

Speeding caused three of these five deadly crashes. In May 2015, a train traveling at 106 miles per hour in a 50 mile per hour curve zone derailed, killing eight passengers and injuring over 100 more. Just a year later in April of 2016, an Amtrak train traveling at 99 miles per hour crashed into a backhoe that was working on the track, killing two and injuring 39 other people. And in December 2017, an Amtrak train traveling 80 miles per hour into a 30 mile per hour curve zone derailed, fatally wounding three passengers and injuring close to 50 people.

Failed communications are also a common cause in Amtrak train accidents. In the April 2016 accident, the railroad company failed to communicate with oncoming trains that the tracks were closed due to maintenance and construction. Broken or defective signals along railroad tracks can also lead to crashes when conductors are not properly warned of railway switches or oncoming trains. Railroad crossing safety barriers and warning lights that fail lead to many fatal crashes between trains and passenger vehicles. In January 2018, a truck driver was fatally injured when a train collided with the trash truck he was driving across train tracks in Virginia.

New Jersey Train Accident Lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP Represent Victims Injured in Train Accidents

If you or someone you know has been injured in a train accident, you may be entitled to compensation. The experienced team of New Jersey train accident lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP is committed to helping our clients claim the maximum compensation available. Call us at 732-777-0100 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. Our Edison, Toms River, and Red Bank offices serve clients throughout New Jersey.