Safety Concerns on New Jersey’s Railways

Using the railroad is a growing option for travel throughout the nation, and especially for New Jersey residents. Trains often provide an easier, cheaper, and more convenient option for those who are traveling to work or school, or for pleasure. According to the 2018 PATH Ridership Report distributed by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, in New Jersey alone from January 2018 to July 2018, there were a total of 22,354,148 rides taken on PATH trains.

With many people opting for the rails over the roads, safety has become a growing concern. Some common train-related injuries include:

  • Minor injuries due to jolting or sudden movement;
  • Slip and falls in the train cars or on the platforms; and
  • Injuries or death due to a crash or derailment, among others.

The first two examples are common for many railway riders around the nation. However, a review of New Jersey history reveals that major train wrecks were common. There were significant and deadly train wrecks on record dating back to 1904, 1906, 1911, 1922, and 1942, among others. Several recent incidents have created growing concern about rail safety. On September 29, 2016, a New Jersey Transit (NJ Transit) Pascack Valley line commuter train in transit from Spring Valley bound for the Hoboken station crashed through a barrier at the end of the track at the Hoboken Terminal. A pedestrian walking through the station concourse was killed when she was struck by falling debris. Aside from the lone fatality, there were 108 reported injuries.

The cause of this crash was due to excessive speed and the engineer’s severe sleep apnea. Prior to the crash, the train was traveling at a speed of twice the legal 10 mph speed limit as it was approaching the platform. The emergency brakes were applied, though it was too late, as the train was already barreling towards the end of the tracks. Following an investigation, it was determined that the engineer suffered from severe sleep apnea. Lawmakers have now pushed for more rigorous testing of transit engineers before they enter the workforce.

As a result of this train crash, many New Jersey railway users are more cautious when traveling via the railroad. The growing concern for injury or death that can occur on the railroad has instilled fear in everyday riders. However, train crash-related injuries or deaths that occur because of the negligence of another provide significant grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a train accident because of the negligence of another, you may be entitled to significant compensation. It is important to contact an experienced New Jersey personal injury attorney that will help and guide you through the process. The attorneys at the Rinaldo Law Group are skilled personal injury lawyers, who will fight for the compensation you and your family are entitled to receive. Please contact us today at 908-352-2500 to schedule a free initial consultation.

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