Raising Awareness About Deadly Train Accidents
On May 29th, 2020, an Amtrak passenger train crashed into a sprayer tractor near Bainville in Roosevelt County, Montana, leaving the tractor driver dead and several Amtrak passengers with serious injuries. For many years, public safety advocates have been concerned about Amtrak train crashes caused by operator or corporate failures – and with this most recent fatal train accident, it seems that those concerns about Amtrak passenger safety have been substantiated.
According to a USA Today investigation in 2018, the number of annual Amtrak crash fatalities substantially rose in the years between 2008 and 2017, growing from 119 to 167. The overall rate of Amtrak accidents also grew in parallel with those numbers, as well as the number of roadway and crossing collisions. These numbers show that the Roosevelt County incident may be part of a larger pattern of negligence at Amtrak.
Ongoing Safety Concerns at Amtrak
Amtrak is one of the most popular transportation companies in the country. Although trains rank far below cars and buses for everyday travel in the United States, Amtrak still carried over 31.3 million passengers in 2016 alone. When compared with major airlines, Amtrak ranks 5th nationwide in terms of domestic passengers and trips taken.
While the reasons for Amtrak train accidents can vary widely, some patterns emerge upon examining the data. Because Amtrak trains most often run on railroads owned by other companies, such as CSX freight railroad, there have been repeated failures to install Positive Train Control or PTC systems – an automatic train braking technology that experts agree could help to reduce the odds of major train crashes.
Some other key factors involved in Amtrak train accidents over the years:
- Human error and conductor negligence
- Unprotected railroad crossings
- Improper switching of tracks
- Lack of safety equipment around repair work on tracks
- Maintenance issues and mechanical failure
We Advocate for Victims of Train Crashes
At Hoyt & Blewett PLLC, we specialize in representing victims of Amtrak train accidents like the recent Amtrak crash in Roosevelt County, which resulted in at least one fatality. . In many cases, victims of train accidents may be able to pursue lawsuits against the train company and seek compensation for their injuries – provided that they have a qualified and experienced attorney who has successfully litigated against companies like Amtrak before. With decades of combined experience and a founding partner who has received national recognition on train accident cases, our team of experienced Amtrak train accident attorneys can provide the compassionate counsel that you deserve.
Contact us today at (406) 233-1302 to get started with a free consultation.