Operation Lifesaver


2006 Statistics*

(Based on Preliminary 2006 Federal Railroad Administration Statistics)

  • In 2006, at least 362 people were killed and 999 were injured in 2,897 highway-rail grade crossing collisions (combined for public and private crossings).
  • At least 530 people were killed and 466 were injured while trespassing on railroad rights of way and property.
  • In the United States of America, approximately every two hours either a vehicle or a pedestrian is struck by a train. That’s 12 tragic incidents each day.
  • A motorist is 20 times more likely to die in a crash involving a train than in a collision involving another motor vehicle. (Based on U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) statistics from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Federal Railroad Administration.)
  • There are approximately 240,528 public, private and pedestrian at grade highway-rail crossings in the United States. (A total of 146,658 are public crossings; 93,870 are private crossings.)
  • More people die in highway-rail grade crossing crashes and railroad trespassing incidents in the United States each year than in all commercial and general aviation crashes combined. (Based on U.S. DOT statistics)
  • Nearly 50 percent of vehicle/train collisions occur at crossings with active warning devices (gates, lights, bells).
  • Three out of four crashes occur within 25 miles of the motorist’s home. Fifty percent of all crashes occur within five miles of home. (Based on NHTSA statistics.)
  • Trains CANNOT stop quickly.

Average freight train stopping distance:
55 mph = a mile or more or at least 18 football fields!
8 car passenger train stopping distance:
79 mph = a mile or more or at least 18 football fields!

  • Nearly half of all highway-rail crashes occur when the train is traveling less than 30 mph.
  • Railroad tracks, trestles, yards and equipment are private property. Walking or playing on them is illegal – trespassers are subject to arrest and fines. Too often the penalty is death.

*Source: U.S. DOT Federal Railroad Administration unless otherwise indicated.
Operation Lifesaver is a national, nonprofit public education program dedicated to ending collisions deaths and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and along railroad rights-of-way.
For more information and the name of your Operation Lifesaver State Coordinator, please call 1-800-537-6224, or check www.oli.org.

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