Train crossings are not an uncommon sight in many areas of the country, including Massachusetts. You can generally recognize when a train is crossing your path by flashing lights and a barrier that prevents cars from crossing the tracks. However, serious injuries and fatalities do occur at train crossings. Just this past April, 2018, a Springfield woman ran her SUV into a moving train around 2:00 a.m. on Memorial Drive in Springfield and suffered fatal injuries. It has not yet been established how the accident occurred.
Massachusetts has approximately 3000 railroad crossings throughout the state or areas where roads cross railroad tracks instead of over or under them. Between 1975 and 2016, there have been 36 fatalities at such crossings. According to the Federal Railway Administration, in 2017 there were 2,105 collisions between motor vehicles and trains in the U.S., resulting in 807 injuries and 274 fatalities. These incidents have been reduced considerably since 1981 when there were 9,461 collisions with 3,293 injuries and 728 fatalities.