Street Survival - Advanced Defensive Driving



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Trains and trams, due to their sheer bulk and momentum, will always be destructive to vehicles in the case of a collision.

The motorist involved in the impact will always come off second best and at best can hope to survive the incident.

By following these tips, drivers can help ensure their safety and the safety of others when approaching and crossing railroad tracks.

☠️ Alert:

🛈 Info:

Dangers Rail

☠️ Dangers regarding rail

  • Always stop at railroad crossings: It's important for drivers to always stop at railroad crossings when the warning lights are flashing or the crossing arms are down. Even if a train is not visible, it may be approaching, so it's important to stop and wait for the signal to clear before proceeding.

  • Don't try to beat the train: It's never safe to try to beat a train at a crossing. Trains can't stop quickly, so even if you think you have enough time to cross the tracks before the train arrives, you may not. Always wait for the signal to clear before crossing.

  • Look both ways before crossing: Even if the signal indicates that it's safe to cross, it's important to look both ways before proceeding. Trains can approach from either direction, so it's important to be aware of your surroundings.

  • Never drive around lowered crossing arms: It's never safe to drive around lowered crossing arms, even if you think you can do so safely. Crossing arms are in place to protect drivers from oncoming trains, and ignoring them can lead to a serious accident.

  • Be patient: Trains can take a long time to pass, so it's important to be patient and wait for them to clear the crossing before proceeding. Trying to rush through a crossing can lead to an accident.

  • Be aware of your vehicle's height: If you're driving a larger vehicle, such as a truck or RV, be aware of your vehicle's height and make sure that you have enough clearance to safely cross the tracks.

  • Avoid distractions: It's important to avoid distractions, such as using your phone or eating, when approaching and crossing railroad tracks. Staying focused on the road can help you stay alert and respond quickly to unexpected situations.

☠️ Dangers of railroad crossings

Railroad crossings can pose significant dangers if not approached and navigated with caution. Here are some common dangers associated with railroad crossings:

  • Train Collisions: The most severe danger at railroad crossings is the risk of a collision with an oncoming train. Trains are heavy and powerful vehicles that require a significant distance to stop. If a vehicle is struck by a train, the consequences can be catastrophic, leading to severe injuries or fatalities.

  • Lack of Warning Signals: Some railroad crossings may lack proper warning signals, such as flashing lights, gates, or audible alarms. Without these signals, drivers may not be adequately alerted to an approaching train, increasing the risk of accidents.

  • Limited Visibility: Factors such as vegetation, buildings, or road curvature can limit visibility at railroad crossings. This can make it challenging for drivers to see an approaching train until it is very close, reducing their ability to react in time.

  • Trains' Speed and Quietness: Trains can move at high speeds, making it difficult for drivers to accurately judge their approach time. Additionally, trains can be relatively quiet, especially when approaching from a distance, making it harder for drivers to hear them and gauge their proximity accurately.

  • Train Length and Multiple Tracks: Trains can be very long and may take a significant amount of time to pass through a crossing. It's crucial for drivers to wait until the entire train has cleared the crossing before proceeding. Some crossings may have multiple tracks, increasing the risk of a collision if a driver attempts to cross while another train is approaching on a different track.

  • Driver Behavior: Driver behavior, such as ignoring warning signals, attempting to beat a train, or taking unnecessary risks, can contribute to accidents at railroad crossings. Impatience, distractions, or impaired driving can all amplify the dangers associated with crossing railroad tracks.

  • Pedestrian Safety: Railroad crossings may be used by pedestrians as well. Individuals walking or cycling near railroad tracks should exercise caution and follow safety protocols to avoid accidents with trains.

To stay safe at railroad crossings, it is crucial to follow these safety guidelines:

  • Always obey warning signals and stop if necessary.

  • Look and listen carefully in both directions before crossing.

  • Do not attempt to cross if a train is approaching, even if it seems far away.

  • Be patient and wait for the train to completely pass before proceeding.

  • Do not walk, cycle, or stand on or near railroad tracks.

  • Avoid distractions and focus on the task of crossing the tracks safely.

It's important to note that specific safety measures and regulations may vary depending on the jurisdiction and the type of railroad crossing. Adhering to local laws and guidelines is essential for minimizing risks and ensuring safety at railroad crossings.

🛈 How railroad crossing signals work

Railroad crossing signals are designed to alert drivers and pedestrians of an approaching train and provide a clear indication of whether it is safe to proceed or stop. The specific types of signals may vary between different locations and jurisdictions, but here are the general components and functioning of typical railroad crossing signals:

  • Active Warning Systems: Flashing Lights: Most railroad crossings have flashing lights, often mounted on crossarms positioned at the sides of the roadway. These lights flash alternately, usually in a diagonal pattern, to draw attention to the presence of an approaching train. Gates: Crossing gates are barriers that extend horizontally across the roadway when a train is approaching. They are typically equipped with red lights and/or crossbucks (white reflective signs with the words "Railroad Crossing"). The gates prevent vehicles and pedestrians from entering the crossing while a train is passing. Audible Alarms: Some crossings feature audible alarms, such as bells, horns, or sirens, which sound in conjunction with the flashing lights and gates to further alert drivers and pedestrians.

  • Train Detection: Circuitry and Sensors: Railroad crossings are equipped with sensors, such as track circuits or infrared detectors, which detect the presence of an approaching train. These sensors detect the metal wheels and axles of the train as it moves along the track, triggering the activation of the warning signals. Communication Systems: The train detection system is typically connected to the crossing signals through a communication network. Once the presence of a train is detected, a signal is sent to activate the warning signals at the crossing.

  • Preemption and Timing: Preemptive Control: In many cases, the train's approach to a crossing triggers a preemptive control system that provides the train with priority over other traffic. This means that traffic signals at nearby intersections may turn red to allow the train to pass safely. Timing: The duration of the warning signals, including the flashing lights and gate closure, is typically predetermined based on the train's speed and the crossing's characteristics. The warning period allows sufficient time for drivers and pedestrians to stop and clear the crossing before the train arrives.

It's important to note that not all railroad crossings have active warning systems. Some crossings may rely on passive warning signs, such as crossbucks, to indicate the presence of a crossing. In such cases, it is essential for drivers and pedestrians to exercise extra caution, look for approaching trains, and follow applicable traffic laws and regulations.

Railroad crossing signals are designed to enhance safety by providing clear visual and audible warnings of approaching trains, giving individuals sufficient time to stop and avoid accidents. It is crucial to always obey these signals and exercise caution when approaching or crossing railroad tracks.

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Street Survival - Advanced Defensive Driving