Train Crossing Safety Tips for Truck Drivers
- At 55 mph, it can take a mile or more to stop a train.
- Stop no closer than 15 feet (one car length) from the crossing. If you are in traffic, don’t start if you can’t safely clear the crossing.
- Note the overhang – both for your truck and a train – of 3 feet or more.
- Make sure that trailer jacks are in the up position - non-retracted trailer jacks can cause trailers to become stuck on crossings.
- Cell phones are the top distraction for all drivers.
Trucks are NO match for a train!
- Trains and trucks are not a fair comparison. Never race a train to the crossing — even if you tie, you lose.
- The train you see is closer and moving faster than you think. If you see a train approaching, wait for it to go by before crossing the tracks.
- Beware! Trains cannot stop quickly. Even if the locomotive engineer sees you, a freight train moving at 55 miles per hour can take a mile or more to stop once the emergency brakes are applied. That's 18 football fields!
- Never drive around lowered gates — it's illegal and deadly. If you suspect a signal is malfunctioning, call the 1-800 number posted on or near the crossing signal or your local law enforcement agency.
- Do not get stuck on the tracks; proceed through a highway-rail grade crossing only if you are sure you can completely clear the crossing without stopping. *Remember, the train is three feet wider than the tracks on both sides.
- If your vehicle ever stalls on a track with a train coming, get out immediately and move quickly away from the tracks in the direction from which the train is coming. If you run in the same direction the train is traveling, when the train hits your car you could be injured by flying debris. Call your local law enforcement agency for assistance.
- While waiting for a train to pass at a multi-track crossing, watch out for a second train on the other side of the tracks, approaching from either direction.
- When you need to cross train tracks, go to a designated crossing, look both ways, and cross the tracks quickly without stopping. *Remember it is NOT safe to stop closer than 15 feet from a rail.
- ALWAYS EXPECT A TRAIN! Freight trains do not follow set schedules.
- If you get stuck at the crossing, get out of the vehicle, call the 1-800 number posted at the crossing, or call the local police to alert trains of your position.