During the winter months especially, Connecticut rail lines turn the countryside into a picturesque scene that resembles a vintage greeting card. With three operating passenger lines, a train chugging past a snowy hillside, or through a small town may look like a nostalgic nod to an era long past, but many residents still rely on trains for transportation. Modern passenger trains are a highly efficient way to travel, and with the cost of owning a personal vehicle continuing to rise, trains are making a comeback. Unfortunately, there is still a risk of a rider being involved in a train accident.
Train accidents and derailments still occur, even in modern times. And when they do, they're often catastrophic. The federal government has imposed new regulations regarding all passenger trains across the nation. Beginning in Jan. 2019, all passenger train lines in the United States must be equipped with new technology known as positive train control.
This technology uses digital signals and GPS information to attempt to prevent accidents. The system makes the track, in layman's terms, interactive. The train and the track will share information, and in an emergency situation, such as an obstacle on the track, or a broken signal, the train can be stopped remotely.
Some skeptics say their research indicates the new safety technology will fail if a train travels into a "dark area" on the GPS grid, much like a place where a cell phone has no service. In some cases, even if the system fails, there may be little a train conductor can to to override the system. Though the new regulations are meant to keep passengers safe, the potential for failure may actually lead to an increased risk of equipment failure or train accident, putting innocent lives at risk.
A train accident has the potential to cause serious injury or death to many people at once. When someone is injured in a Connecticut train accident, a civil claim for personal injuries may be appropriate. An accident victim may already be overwhelmed by medical bills, loss of wages due to inability to work and/or other matters that follow a serious accident. An experienced attorney can assist a victim and help pursue justice in a court of law.