Although trains are not as common a feature in the American West as they once were, they are still used to transport billions of dollars of goods across the country each year. As a result, there are a fair number of New Mexico train accidents that occur each year. Normally, these accidents occur at rural railroad crossings that may not have the lighted signs and electronic lowering gates that are present in more populated areas.
Due to the fact that trains have an immense amount of inertia, stopping a train that is traveling at full speed is not easily done. In fact, it can take upwards of a mile for a train to come to a complete stop. That being the case, when it comes to train safety, prevention is key because there is little that can be done to stop an imminent train accident other than the engineer sounding the horn.
Railroad companies are responsible for creating a safe network of railways, including intersections where train tracks cross a road. It is imperative that these intersections are well-marked and free from all vegetation and debris that may obscure a motorist’s view of the railroad. In a recent case, the court affirmed a jury verdict in excess of $10 million after a man was killed while driving across a set of railroad tracks.