Following the death of five people in a crash as they were crossing a regularly traveled railroad crossing in Trinidad over the weekend, experts blame complacency and distracted driving for many of the accidents at crossings in Colorado annually.
“Our telephones can distract us, music, ear buds can distract us. So we just need to be aware of what's going on and our surroundings,” said LeeAnn Sterling, with Operation Lifesaver.
The death toll at railroad crossings halfway through 2016 has already tied the death toll for the previous three years combined.
According to the Federal Railroad Administration, there are 2,186 railroad crossings in Colorado. Of those, 972 have just the sign known as cross bucks and 695 have full warning arms and bells that sound alerting drivers to an incoming train.
But, the crossings that are the most dangerous may be the ones that you pass over regularly.
“I think people become complacent about these sorts of things, they do get in a hurry and what they have to realize is that this is here for their safety, for their protection," said Sterling.
Sterling said it’s a good idea to get in the habit of stopping and looking both ways at every railroad crossing and it’s a practice that may someday save your life.