8 Railroad Crossing Safety Tips For Truck Drivers

  • May 3, 2017

Each year there are thousands of collisions between trains and vehicles. These collisions often result in injuries and deaths. Here are eight Railroad Crossing safety tips for truck drivers working in the transportation industry.


  1. Approach the tracks cautiously, and always expect a train, even on rarely used tracks. Since most trains do not travel on a regular schedule, be cautious any time, day or night.
  2. Turn on your four-way flashers to warn other drivers that you are slowing down.
  3. Turn off any fans and music, and roll your windows down as you come to the track. Try to stop between 15 and 50 feet from the nearest track.
  4. Cross tracks only at a designated crossing. Never drive around lowered gates. This is both illegal and potentially deadly.
  5. Once you are stopped, listen for a train and look both ways down the track. Be watchful of your mirrors, A-pillars, or anything that may block your view. Look again before proceeding.
  6. Use the highest gear you can to cross the tracks without having to shift to get across.
  7. If you are crossing the tracks and you see a train coming, keep going. Do not panic and stop on the tracks. Remember, the train is at least three feet wider than the tracks on each side.
  8. If you see a train, understand that it is closer and moving faster than you think. Always wait for it to pass before proceeding across the tracks.


What if you get stuck?

 If your vehicle stalls or gets stuck on the tracks, do the following

Get yourself and any passengers out of the vehicle immediately.

If a train is coming, get out immediately and move quickly towards the oncoming train and away from the tracks at a 45-degree angle. This is to protect you if the train does strike your vehicle. The debris will fly in the same direction as the train’s path.

If you are at a crossing with multiple tracks, watch in either direction for another approaching train.

Once you are far enough away from the tracks, call for help, and provide your location and the crossing number if it is posted.

Be aware that trains cannot stop quickly. A train traveling at 60 mph will need at least one mile to stop, so even if the train driver sees you, it’s not likely that they will be able to stop in time. A train’s width is also larger than the rails by at least three feet on either side. This could clip your cargo, vehicle, or overhang if you attempt to cross the tracks without enough room.

(Resource: Helpe, Inc.)

Combined Express, Inc. and Delaware Valley Shippers, Inc. are the premier truckload, intermodal and LTL service providers across the United States, with more than 35 years of industry experience. Moving freight has never been easier or more cost-effective than with our custom transportation services! Our knowledgeable and experienced team of logistics professionals is always on call to assist you with any questions or concerns that might arise. We work closely with you to learn your unique freight needs and to customize a shipping solution that fits your budget and delivers your cargo on time.

Helpe Inc., is the developer of safety program management plans for transportation fleets, and a consulting firm specializing in Risk Management and Loss Prevention services for the transportation industry, with special expertise in the trucking industry. Helpe, Inc. works with some of the largest motor carriers on the implementation of driver safety and management programs, and has gained recognition as experts in safety management, turnover reduction, driver recruiting and hiring, fuel efficiency and fuel management programs.






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