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Rail crossing warnings may come to navigation apps

Accidents involving inadequate, like commuter trains, light rail, subways, and cargo, are among the deadliest accidents. The human body is no match for the hundreds of tons of metal that are smashed and twisted together in these fatal accidents. To combat the prevalence of these accidents, especially in the rail-congested Northeast, some governments and activists are pressuring Internet companies to add warnings regarding rail crossing to their navigation apps.

Safety experts believe that warnings will significantly reduce rail-involved accidents because many accidents are caused by truck or cars that get stuck on rail crossings or are led to them by accident by faulty navigation. The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has lobbied companies for 18 months to add alerts for rail crossings. It appears its efforts are beginning to pay off; Garmin is adding safety warnings to its latest line-up of devices and Google has agreed to do the same for its Maps app (but after several updates, the safety warnings are still not an added feature). Apple and several other companies agreed to add the warnings, but they did not make substantial commitments as to when the alerts would be included in the apps.

According to Sarah E. Feinberg, the administrator of the FRA, most rail crossing fatalities are not caused by drivers who try to “beat the train” but instead are due to drivers being unaware of the rail crossing or the dangers because of insufficient warnings and other safety features. The FRA and other experts believe these warnings are especially important because minor rail crossings often lack signage or grade signs. Therefore, many drivers mistakenly turn onto them and are struck by trains.

Rail accidents are unfortunately still a common occurrence. If you lost a loved one in a fatal accident, you might want to consult with an attorney. You might be able to recover compensation for the loss of your loved one. A lawsuit is probably the furthest thing from your mind, but it is important to preserve your rights to ensure that your family has the funds it needs to begin rebuilding.

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