Train-Vehicle Collisions Down, but Deaths are Up

Operation Lifesaver reported this week that vehicle-train collisions fell by 2.4 percent in 2016, but the number of fatalities increased 13.7 percent when compared with 2015 data.

Also increasing were the number of trespassing deaths on train tracks, which rose 12.8 percent in 2016.

The figures were derived from Federal Railroad Administration data.

During 2016, U.S. crossing collisions fell to 2,025 from 2,075 when compared with 2015.

But crossing-related fatalities were 265 compared with 233 and crossing injuries dropped 22.7 percent to 798 from 1,032.

Trespassing deaths and injuries climbed to 994 in 2016 from 868 in 2015; trespassing deaths rose to 511 from 453; and trespassing injuries grew to 483 from 415.

States with the most 2016 crossing collisions were Texas, California, Illinois, Indiana and Georgia.

States with the most trespasser casualties (deaths and injuries combined) were California, Texas, Florida, New York and Pennsylvania.

“While we are encouraged to see highway-rail crossing collisions and injuries continuing their downward trend, we are very concerned about the increase in crossing deaths, trespass deaths and injuries,” said OLI head Bonnie Murphy.

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