Railroad Safety Week 2019

Railroad Safety Week is September 22-28

Do you cross railroad tracks regularly? Are you ever tempted to drive around a gate or walk along the tracks?

For Rail Safety Week, and throughout the year, Safe Kids Worldwide and Union Pacific Railroad are working together to focus attention on the preventable problem of kids being hit by trains and to help families keep their kids safe around train tracks.

Learn more about our partnership.

Research Report

Our new research report, Railroads: An Often-Overlooked Danger to Children highlights the problem. It reviews data trends for railroad-related incidents among children and includes the results of a national survey of parents on their attitudes and behaviors around railroads. The report sheds light on how and why children are involved in railroad collisions, and how such an important problem is going relatively unnoticed.  

For example, our research shows that only 40 percent of the parents surveyed think children being hit by trains is an issue. Although the perceived risk is low, the actual risk of a child being hit by a train is higher than most people think. On average a child dies as a result of a rail-related injury every 5 days in the U.S., and for every death, 3 children are injured.

And fewer than half of parents we surveyed say they have talked with their children about how to be safe around railroads.

Take a moment to get the facts, retrain your brain, and talk to your kids about railroad safety. We can show you how.

Read the research report and view the infographic that summarizes the results

View the report

View the infopraphic

Railroad Safety Tips

  1. Only cross railroad tracks at a designated crossing. Designated crossings are marked by a sign, lights or a gate.
  2. If lights are flashing or the gate is down at a railroad crossing, wait for the train to pass completely, the gates to lift and the lights to stop flashing before crossing. It is never okay to rush across and try to beat the train. Trains may be closer and faster than you think.
  3. Allow enough space for your vehicle to completely clear the entire railroad crossing, not just the tracks, before you attempt to cross. Remember, trains are at least three feet wider than the tracks on either side, so even though you clear the tracks, you may still get hit by the train.
  4. If you are using a cell phone, headphones or playing a game on your mobile phone, remember: Heads Up, Devices Down when you cross the tracks. Once a train starts to brake, it can take a mile for the train to stop. So, when you see a train, it’s already too late for it to stop for you. Headphones should be removed, so you can hear an approaching train.
  5. Don’t be tempted to walk along the train tracks. It might be a shortcut, but it is dangerous and not worth the risk. It is also against the law to walk on the track and the land around it because it is private property.

For more on railroad safety, check out our tips or download our tip sheet.

Gary on the Street: Railroad Safety

Do you know how to be safe around railroad tracks? Our own Gary Karton takes to the street to talk to people about rail safety. Check it out.

Watch the videoWatch on YouTube