Visibility, especially at night, can be an issue for drivers.
An analysis of the sight lines available to the truck driver at a railroad crossing may reveal information pertinent to the reconstruction.
Safely backing a train across a roadway requires caution on the part of both the train crew and the motoring public.
When approaching a crossing that is at an angle, both the train crew and road traffic need to pay particular attention.
Train Accident Reconstruction
Railroad accidents involving trains, vehicles, pedestrians and workers are complex incidents. Investigating the facts and reconstructing the events surrounding a railroad accident utilize many of the same scientific principles and tools found in vehicular accidents. However, a railroad investigation and reconstruction also must consider the effects of the unique elements of railroad operations and equipment.
While the driver of an on-road vehicle has direct control of speed, braking and steering, the locomotive operator can control speed and braking only. By its nature, the track restricts his ability to take evasive steering actions. Also, a tremendous size and weight differential exists between a train and an on-road vehicle.
In some circumstances, such as slowly backing toward a street crossing, several crewmen can be responsible in unison for safe operation of the train. The engineer, conductor and flagman must communicate in order to back the train safely across the street. These are just a few examples of the factors specific to railroads that need to be taken into consideration when reconstructing a train-involved accident.
Areas of analysis include:
- Sight lines and visibility
- Communication among train crew members and dispatch office
- Analysis of locomotive event recorder data
- Coupling expansion and contraction
- Human factors analysis