Professional Driver's Handbook

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Railway crossings

Crossing railway tracks can be especially hazardous for drivers of large vehicles because of the following:

  • Longer vehicles need to travel further and will need more time to clear a crossing.
  • Heavier vehicles take more time and need more room to stop before a crossing.
  • Larger vehicles that have low ground clearances may cause trailers to get stuck on or displace the tracks.
  • Larger trucks are more likely to derail a train if there is a collision.

Other considerations:

Never permit traffic conditions to trap you in a position where you have to stop on the tracks. Be sure you can get all the way across the tracks before you start across.

Avoid shifting gears on a crossing. Make your gear selection prior to crossing the railway tracks.

If your vehicle stalls or gets stuck on a crossing, get out of the vehicle immediately. If a train is coming, move away from the track toward the oncoming train. This will reduce the chances of being struck by flying debris if the train hits the vehicle. Contact the railway company if its emergency number is posted or call 911.


Rev: 2017