Operation Lifesaver, Inc. notes mixed results in 2018 for crossing, trespass casualties

WASHINGTON, DC, April 10, 2019 — Recently-released U.S. government statistics reveal that railroad grade crossing collisions and rail trespass deaths increased in 2018, according to rail safety education nonprofit Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI). OLI Executive Director Rachel Maleh cited preliminary Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) statistics that show U.S. crossing collisions rose 4.3 percent, crossing deaths remained constant and crossing injuries decreased 2.9 percent from 2017 to 2018. Total casualties (deaths and injuries) from rail trespassing climbed 2.8 percent in 2018; trespass deaths grew 12.0 percent and trespass injuries fell 6.3 percent from their levels in 2017.

Preliminary Rail Crossing and Trespass Statistics, 2018 vs. 2017

Source: Federal Railroad Administration Office of Safety Analysis

      Crossing Statistics, U.S. Totals                     Trespass Statistics, U.S. Totals

  Collisions  Deaths Injuries   All Casualties Deaths Injuries
2017 2,122 271 844 2017 1,021 510 511
2018 2,214 270 819 2018 1,050 571 479
% Change +4.3 0.0 -2.9 % Change +2.8 +12.0 -6.3

“We are troubled to see that these tragic railroad crossing incidents and pedestrian trespass casualties continue to rise,” said Maleh. “Some indicators were better in 2018, however. Crossing deaths were flat from the previous year, while crossing and trespass injuries both dropped. Rail Safety Week, September 22-28 in the U.S. and Canada, will focus attention on these key public safety issues. These statistics show that our efforts to save lives, working with the FRA and safety partners at freight, passenger and commuter railroads, are more important than ever,” she stated.

“It is vitally important that we continue to strengthen efforts among all public, private and government stakeholders to prevent and reduce grade crossing collisions and trespass incidents,” said FRA Administrator Ronald L. Batory. “There is still much work to do, but through our longstanding partnership with Operation Lifesaver, Inc., more Americans understand how to safely traverse grade crossings and refrain from risky behavior along rail lines.”

States with the most crossing collisions in 2018 were Texas, California, Indiana, Georgia, Illinois, Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, Ohio and Pennsylvania. States with the most trespasser casualties (deaths and injuries combined) in 2018 were California, Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Georgia, North Carolina and New Jersey.

About Operation Lifesaver

Operation Lifesaver is a nonprofit public safety education and awareness organization dedicated to reducing collisions, fatalities and injuries at highway-rail crossings and preventing trespassing on or near railroad tracks. A national network of trained volunteers gives free presentations on rail safety and a public awareness campaign, See Tracks? Think Train!” provides tips and statistics to encourage safe behavior near the tracks. OLI leads an international observance of Rail Safety Week each September. Learn more about Rail Safety Week; follow OLI on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest


Media Contact

Operation Lifesaver, Inc. understands the importance of the news media’s role in helping the public make safe decisions around tracks and trains.

To request further information about Operation Lifesaver’s activities, or for additional safety information, email general[at]oli.org or contact our national headquarters office at 703-739-0308.

If you are a reporter seeking information for a local news story, view our list of state Operation Lifesaver program contacts.

If you are on deadline for a story and would like Operation Lifesaver, Inc.'s perspective on a highway-rail safety or trespass prevention topic, email news[at]oli.org

About Operation Lifesaver

Operation Lifesaver is a nonprofit public safety education and awareness organization dedicated to reducing collisions, fatalities and injuries at highway-rail crossings and trespassing on or near railroad tracks. Our team consists of nationwide network of volunteers who work to educate people about rail safety, state coordinators who lead the efforts in states across the U.S. and a national office in Washington, D.C., that supports state programs, develops education materials, and creates public awareness campaigns for audiences of all ages. 


National Office

Operation Lifesaver, Inc.
425 Third Street SW, Suite 915
Washington, D.C. 20024

Fax: 703-519-8267
Email : [email protected]

Media Inquiries: [email protected]

Transit Inquiries: [email protected]

Our Staff

Engage with OLI

Let's Keep the Conversation Going.

OLI-on-Facebook OLI-on-Twitter OLI-on-Pinterest  OLI-on-Instagram

Sign Up for Updates