Ask The Driving School Instructor: When Your Car Stalls On Train Tracks
June 30, 2014
Question: The driving manual says that if a car is stalled on the tracks and a collision is imminent to run toward the train. That doesn’t make any sense; why would you want to run toward the train?
Answer: If your car stalls on the railroad tracks and a train is about to hit your car, running in the direction of the train will protect you from being hit by your car and the crash debris. You want to run away from the tracks but in the direction of the train. Maybe this diagram will describe it better:
To avoid this from happening in the first place, never attempt to cross railroad tracks until there is enough clear space on the other side of the tracks for your vehicle to completely clear the tracks. Never attempt to go around a crossing gate once it is down. When the crossing alarm starts, the train will arrive within 20 seconds. Because they are so large, trains appear to be going slower than they actually are and, with all the weight of a train and at the speeds they are traveling, it can take up to a mile or more for the train to come to a complete stop. So, even if the engineer sees your car on the tracks, there is nothing he can do to stop in time.