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Steps to follow to avoid injury around railways

Each year, any number of people are hurt or killed by trains as a result of not heeding warning signs. These include lowered gates, ringing bells and flashing lights at crossings and near railway stations.

Trains travel at an average speed of 60 miles per hour and can take up to a mile's distance to stop. It's not just commuters, but also motorists, who must be cautious around trains. One thing both should never do is attempt to cross the tracks without confirming it is safe to do so. Motorists must also make sure that there is room for their vehicles on the other side.

Even then, drivers should never cross when they see either flashing lights or lowered gates. Instead, they should always wait until gates have been returned to their original vertical position before attempting to cross.

Pedestrians should avoid walking, running or cycling either under or around lowered gates. When they do cross, it should only be at designated areas. Like vehicles, they too should wait for the gates to return to their original positions. Pedestrians should also look up and down the track for secondary trains before crossing.

Because of the sheer number of people congregating in one area at train stations, it can be difficult to navigate in these areas. It may also be harder to notice potentially hazardous situations.

With that in mind, one safety tip train commuters should follow is to look down when entering and exiting a train car. This is important to ensure that the rider doesn't accidentally get something stuck in the gap because they weren't paying enough attention to avoid it.

Another important practice is waiting for all riders to vacate the train before attempting to get on it yourself. It's also prudent to try to forcibly hold train doors open as they close.

Following these steps can curb an individual's risk of catastrophic injury around railways. If you've been injured as a result of negligence, a Long Island premises liability attorney can provide advice and guidance in your legal matter.

Source: Long Island Rail Road, "Be TrainSmart," accessed Feb. 17, 2017

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