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The reality of rail travel safety

Recent commuter train accidents may have left commuters a bit wary of train travel. It is scary to think about what happens when a train derails and how seriously passengers can get injured in such an accident. This may leave people wondering just how safe it actually is to travel by train. When looking at the options in California, people may be surprised at where trains actually rank. According to Fortune, rail travel is a relatively safe option. 

In fact, driving is actually the most dangerous way of getting anywhere. Air travel is considered quite safe, with trains being pretty close in the rankings. One reason airplane and train accidents make such big news is that they do not happen very often. Sadly, when they do occur, the consequences are usually horrific.

However, European train travel is much safer than here in the U.S. A big concern is over proper operation. Often, rail accidents are due to operation errors caused by lack of proper training and the railroads' failure to provide their workers with safe equipment. With better training and adherence to safety, the risks of train travel could be decreased. 

The Guardian notes the U.S. lags way behind European countries, especially in regards to train safety equipment, which could also save many lives and prevent accidents. Automatic safety systems are standard in Europe but not yet here in the United States. Many recent train accidents could have been prevented if such systems were present. Trains in the U.S. that do have such safety equipment are mainly on the east coast with ongoing, but slow, implementation to the rest of the country. This information is for education only and is not to be taken as legal advice. 

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