Sobering video has emerged of a dramatic accident involving a FedEx truck and a commuter train in Salt Lake City, Utah.
To me, the most important aspect of this collision was the admission that the crossing arms and warning lights had been 'affected' by snow and ice, and had therefore not come down. As far as I'm concerned, the accident still should not have happened, because the drivers crossing the railroad should have been checking to left and right before they did so!
Miss D. and I frequently cross a railway line near our home. We always look left and right, visually checking that it's safe to do so, even when the warning lights are off. That's because we know that all machines are inherently breakable. Sooner or later, they will malfunction. It'd be just our luck to be in the path of a speeding coal train when they do! My parents taught me that when I was learning to drive - it was one of the first points they rammed home into my thick skull. "Even if the lights are in your favor, and everyone else in your lanes is moving, check for yourself. Other people get stupid, and they die for it. Don't be one of them!" I've tried to apply that lesson since then, and it's saved me from at least half a dozen bad accidents where other drivers ran red lights, or failed to stop at a stop sign, or skidded on wet roads. If you aren't in their way when they do that, you won't get hit. Simple . . . but life-saving.
In this case, I blame the driver(s) who kept crossing the rail lines, assuming it was safe to do so because the warning indicators weren't in operation. Therefore, they didn't bother to look in both directions first. That's what caused this accident. If they'd looked, I don't see how they could have missed that train bearing down on them.