Operation Lifesaver Notes Rise in 2010 U.S. Crossing Collisions, Pedestrian-Train Incidents

Tags: Operation Lifesaver, crossing collisions, rail safety, vehicle-train collisions, pedestrian incidents

WASHINGTON, DC, March 10, 2011 – An improving economy may have contributed to an increase in vehicle-train and pedestrian collisions, deaths and injuries in 2010, according to Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI, http://www.oli.org) the national nonprofit rail safety education organization, citing preliminary 2010 Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) statistics.

“The statistics show that as America pulls out of the recession and people are driving more, we need to redouble our efforts to educate the public about taking unnecessary risks at highway-rail crossings because any incident is one too many,” said OLI President Helen Sramek.  “Another disturbing finding is the continued rise in pedestrian incidents on or near train tracks.”

The FRA statistics indicate that there were 2,004 vehicle-train collisions in the U.S. in 2010, up 4.2 percent from the 1,924 incidents in 2009; those 2010 collisions resulted in 260 deaths and 810 injuries, with crossing deaths up 5.3 percent and crossing injuries up 9.8 percent from the 247 deaths and 738 injuries in 2009.  States with the most crossing collisions in 2010 were Texas, Illinois, California, Indiana and Louisiana.

U.S. Department of Transportation figures also show that vehicle miles traveled in 2010 (2,999,634 according to the Federal Highway Administration) were the third-highest ever, Sramek noted. “With more people traveling on our roadways, there’s a greater chance for an incident to occur,” she said.

An additional 451 pedestrians were killed and 382 injured while trespassing on train tracks last year, versus 417 deaths and 343 injuries in 2009. Total trespasser deaths rose 8.2 percent and trespasser injuries rose 11.4 percent in 2010. States with the most pedestrian-train casualties (deaths and injuries combined) in 2010 were California, Texas, Illinois, Florida and New York.

“Despite overall gains in rail safety in the past decade, these latest statistics show that Operation Lifesaver must continue its work to educate drivers and pedestrians about the dangers present around tracks and trains,” said Sramek.

About Operation Lifesaver

Operation Lifesaver's mission is to end collisions, deaths and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and along railroad rights of way. A national network of certified volunteers provides free presentations on rail safety. Learn more at http://www.oli.org.

Top States for Crossing Incidents, 2010 vs. 2009 (Source: Federal Railroad Administration)

STATE

2010 COLLISIONS

2009 COLLISIONS

2010 DEATHS

2009 DEATHS

2010 INJURIES

2009 INJURIES

TOTAL U.S.

2,004

1,924

260

247

810

738

Texas

211

178

27

23

100

79

Illinois

125

105

27

18

40

50

California

124

116

29

29

70

33

Indiana

112

98

9

14

38

38

Louisiana

106

84

13

11

65

36

 

Top States for Pedestrian-Train Incidents, 2010 vs. 2009 (Source: Federal Railroad Administration)

STATE

2010 CASUALTIES*

2009 CASUALTIES

2010 DEATHS

2009 DEATHS

2010 INJURIES

2009 INJURIES

TOTAL U.S.

833

760

451

417

382

343

California

117

88

66

47

51

41

Texas

60

62

28

31

32

31

Illinois

56

43

31

20

25

23

Florida

49

27

36

19

13

8

New York

41

39

21

18

20

21

*Casualties = Deaths + Injuries

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

703-739-0308
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