Train Safety Laws in North Carolina

Personal injury Lawyer Matt Arnold answers the question: “If I am injured in a car accident or at work what should I do?”


If asked to think about the safest mode of transportation available to Americans, what would you say? Despite the pandemic, fatal traffic crashes actually rose in North Carolina in 2020. While that data does not include statistics on the number of accidents that caused personal injury only, one can naturally assume that those figures are dismal, as well.


steam-train-Charlotte-Monroe-Mooresville-Personal-Injury-Lawyer-300x204When it comes to personal injury risks and transportation, trains generally are not considered as part of the discussion. After all, because trains are bound by their tracks, many individuals think that these giant locomotives are less susceptible to sudden fluctuations in operator behavior. That said, when events outside the train conductor’s control impede the optimal operation of the train, the results can be terrifying.


When drivers in North Carolina try to go around the crossing guardrail while it is lowered, disaster can strike. This is why the North Carolina Railroad Company has created numerous comprehensive safety documents to advise drivers. In addition, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) has enacted programs to improve the safety components at railway crossings in the state.


When accidents occur between motor vehicle drivers and trains, there are often lots of questions to answer. For instance, was the driver of the car obeying the rules of the road as they relate to railroad crossing? Or, was the railroad company or department of transportation acting negligently by failing to maintain the warning signs and markings around the crossing?


While consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney is always best in accident cases involving trains and passenger vehicles, there is some general information that all drivers in North Carolina should be aware of regarding railroad safety and operator negligence.


Railroad Crossing Warning Signs


That white tilted “X” you see before every railway crossing has a special name: The crossbuck sign. These are the universally accepted signs that a railway crossing is ahead. These are required to be posted and maintained at every crossing, both public and private. Additionally, pavement markings must be present and accounted for before each crossing. If these items are not present at the site of an accident, it may signal a railroad company’s negligence.


Regular Safety Inspections


The NCDOT requires the regular safety inspection of railway crossings and tracks. These inspections help the government identify and complete necessary maintenance to ensure safe operation of trains on state railroads. If these inspections are not being conducted and an accident causing personal injury results, this may constitute railway owner negligence as well.


When to Contact Legal Professionals


Accidents involving trains are especially traumatizing in large part because they are not usually expected. When railway operators or other entities fail to properly maintain the safety warning signs and equipment that allow for safe train operation, personal injury may result.


Victims need experienced counsel when attempting to mount a case for negligence against railway operators. For years, the attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC have been helping residents in Charlotte and North Carolina fight for their rights to compensation due to someone else’s negligent actions. Call (704) 370-2828 to receive a video, phone or in-person consultation with our lawyers to explore your legal options or fill out our contact form. Now taking cases throughout North Carolina with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville and Monroe.







The skilled personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to maximizing the financial recovery and obtaining justice for every personal injury client injured by another party’s negligence. The issues our personal injury clients may be facing include, but are not limited to, slip and fall injuries, wrongful death, product liability, catastrophic injuries, dog bite claims, car and truck accident injuries, motorcycle injuries, traumatic brain injury (TBI), nursing home negligence, spinal cord injury, boating accidents, and defective medical device injury. Our personal injury attorneys understand the devastating impact such an injury can have on a person’s life, and that the effects so often go beyond physical pain and suffering. The personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to helping clients determine the strength of their claims, and to aggressively pursuing the means necessary to achieve the best possible end result for each client’s particular situation.





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