With over 140,000 miles of track in the United States crossing through numerous cities, towns, and villages, rail safety is a significant concern. Train derailments can result in devastating consequences, including loss of lives, injuries, property damage, and significant disruptions in transportation networks. The recent East Palestine train derailment in Ohio serves as a stark reminder of the importance of analyzing train derailment statistics and implementing measures to improve rail safety. As we approach the midpoint of 2023, it is critical to examine the current state of train derailments and understand the associated statistics to address the challenges faced by the rail industry.
Train Derailment Statistics in the United States
1. Over 1,000 Total Train Derailments
In 2022, the United States witnessed a staggering 1,164 train derailments, highlighting the daunting challenges faced by the rail industry in ensuring safe and reliable transportation across the country.
2. Over 5,500 Injuries
The safety risks and hazards faced by railroad workers were brought to the forefront in 2021, with a total of 5,781 reported railroad injuries and illnesses. Shockingly, over 3,000 of these incidents occurred while employees were on duty, underscoring the need for enhanced safety protocols.
3. Nearly 1,000 Fatalities
The devastating consequences of train derailments were evident in 2021, with 893 reported deaths resulting from railway incidents. Tragically, 11 of these fatalities were railroad employees, emphasizing the importance of protecting both passengers and workers through rigorous safety measures.
4. Track Defects are the Most Common Cause
Track defects emerged as the leading cause of train derailments. The significance of continuous infrastructure maintenance and inspections cannot be overstated.
5. Derailments in the Midwest
The Midwest region of the United States, known for its extensive rail network, connecting major cities, industries, and transportation hubs, has experienced 719 distinct incidents of derailments between 2018 and 2021. The high occurrence of derailments in this region can be attributed to the significant presence of railroad tracks.
6. Over 4,798 Railroad Employees in Indiana
According to the Association of American Railroads, there were over 4,798 freight railroad employees in Indiana in 2021. This underscores the importance of ensuring the safety of these workers who play a crucial role in the transportation of goods and commodities across the state and the country.
7. Nearly $19 Million in Damages in Indiana
The state of Indiana alone witnessed at least $18.7 million in reportable damages due to derailment incidents between 2018 and 2021. These derailments were mostly caused by issues with the tracks, highlighting the need for regular inspections and maintenance to prevent such costly incidents.
It is clear that train derailments pose a significant threat to the safety of both railroad workers and passengers, as well as to the infrastructure and economy of the United States. The high number of derailments in the Midwest and the costly damage caused by incidents in Indiana highlights the need for increased safety measures, such as regular inspections and maintenance of tracks.
Your Railroad Worker Accident Lawyer
In the unfortunate event of a train derailment, seeking legal assistance from experienced personal injury firms like Foley & Small can be crucial. With a compassionate and supportive approach, they provide personalized attention, listen to clients’ concerns, and keep them informed throughout the legal process. With their extensive expertise in railroad accident cases, Foley & Small has a proven track record of achieving favorable outcomes and securing substantial compensation for their clients. If you’re seeking legal assistance for a railroad accident or any other railway-related incident, Foley & Small’s experienced attorneys are dedicated to navigating the complexities of the case and advocating for your rights, ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve. Reach out to Foley & Small today to receive the experienced representation you need.