Safe Driving Around Railway Crossings
Making sure your vehicle is in the best condition through a regular auto service is the commonsense approach to vehicle maintenance and safety. A well maintained vehicle gives you peace of mind you need as you drive around town as well as maintaining the value of your vehicle.
When we are learning to drive, our mind becomes an open book as we absorb hundreds if not thousands of pieces of information about the vehicles operation and the way we should use it. Once we obtain our drivers licence however it is easy to forget some of the more pertinent safety issues especially when it comes to hot danger spots around most cities. The most notorious danger spots are Railway Crossings and, unfortunately, most drivers are not aware of the proper procedures which should be adopted.
It is all too easy to blame the younger generation when it comes to road accidents but it is a sad fact that vehicles involved in railway crossing accidents involve drivers of all ages. That’s why it is important to have a systematic approach when driving near railway lines and, although it might appear to be simple common sense, it is still worth reiterating a few points for everyone’s safety.
There are some things you should remind yourself about when it comes to driving near railway crossings.
Always slow down as you approach a railway crossing and take a careful look in both directions before crossing the tracks. Even in situations where you have clear view of the railway track for miles in each direction, it is still important to slow down, take care, and look carefully in both directions to make sure the lines are clear. Don’t be distracted by vehicles behind you or if they appear to become impatient with your safety first approach. Your life is in your own hands and you owe it to yourself and your passengers to take the care and time to make sure it is safe before you cross.
If you see a train coming, you should stop at least 5 metres before the tracks. This gives you an adequate buffer from debris which can be stirred up by the passing train, especially if they are travelling at high speed. Once the train has passed make sure you look carefully in both directions again before proceeding. At some crossings there will be traffic signals which should, naturally, be obeyed.
Never changed gears as you are crossing a railway line as this increases the possibility of your vehicle stalling if you make a mistake. If you should become trapped on a crossing you should immediately get out of your vehicle and moved to a safe location and contact the police.
Your motor mechanic can keep your vehicle in good shape for you and make sure that your vehicle is as safe as possible for regular travel, but it is up to you to ensure that you always follow a safety first approach especially when it comes to crossing railway tracks.