Metra trains serve a vital role for tens of thousands of people who live in the Chicago suburbs but commute to the city for work. They are also a convenient means of transportation for those who live in the city and commute outside of the city’s limits or for those who occasionally travel between Chicago and its outskirts. When thinking about the congestion that plagues the local expressways, it is an easy decision for many to use a Metra train instead of trying to drive themselves.
However, not everything associated with Metra transit is positive and at times, those in Illinois are left to wonder how the positives and the negatives compare. While the availability of public transportation is a huge benefit, the downside of train accidents and train-related injuries cannot be avoided. Far too often, another train crash between a Metra vehicle and a passenger car makes news and more often than not, those in the passenger car suffer from harm or even the loss of their lives.
Metra trains are large and heavy, regardless of the number of cars used in any given train. When compared to the average size and weight of a passenger vehicle, like a car, it is not surprising that a collision between a vehicle and a Metra train typically causes extreme devastation to the vehicle involved. Those inside the car are likely to suffer from personal injuries or even death in these instances and often find themselves in need of help simply to get out of their vehicles after a crash.
So when it comes to public safety, are Metra trains an advantage or a disadvantage? In truth, they are both. Metra trains ease street traffic and congestion which lowers the number of car accidents that happen every year. Further, they allow busy commuters the ability to travel without having to focus on the roadway in front of them. Many experts opine that drivers who are busy and are trying to multitask behind the wheel are operating a vehicle while distracted, an activity that can be just as dangerous as driving while drunk. If these distracted drivers are taken out of a car and placed on public transit, like a Metra train, the drivers can devote their attention to tasks other than their commute without presenting a risk to themselves or others.
However, Metra trains that are operating too fast for conditions or under the control of a poorly trained employee pose a very real danger to drivers near the tracks as well as passengers on board the trains and pedestrians who may cross a train’s path. The bottom line is that drivers should be wary of a Metra train when they are in or around Chicago and should always yield to a train when reasonable. Keep in mind that it is best to avoid a train accident if you can as the damage from a collision can never be undone.
If you find yourself or your loved one harmed in a collision with a Metra train, know that you may be entitled to financial compensation for your damages and that working with a personal injury lawyer is your right.
Prior Blog Entry:
Halloween Brings Trick-or-Treating to Chicago, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published October 31, 2016.