At railroad crossings, a little patience could save your life
Trains can't stop on a dime. In fact, it often takes the length of 18 football fields for a train to cease moving after the brakes are applied. Remember this the next time you come to a railroad crossing (be sure to look both ways before driving through) or decide to try to "beat the gate" when the red lights are flashing.
The weight of a car compared to a train is like that of a soda can compared to a car. If a soda can doesn't stand a chance against a car, a car doesn't stand a chance against a train.
The video above was created by students in Baltimore, Maryland, through Wide Angle Youth Media (WAYM) as a reminder to "chill out" at railroad crossings and even savor the break. WAYM is a nonprofit aimed at educating youth in media arts and helping them gain confidence and learn to engage audiences of all ages and stripes. CSX has supported and partnered with WAYM in the creation of safety videos since 2014.
In addition to stopping at a crossing when you see red lights flashing, there are other ways to avoid a deadly run-in with a train. Proceed through a crossing only if you're sure you can get all the way through without stopping. The train is wider than the tracks by at least 3 feet on either side, so there may be less clearance than you think. It's not safe to stop closer than 15 feet from a rail.
If the gate is lowered but there's no train and you suspect a signal is malfunctioning, call the emergency number posted on or near the crossing signal or call the local police. Never drive around lowered gates; it's not only dangerous, it's illegal.