Train driver focus of accident investigation

Chicagoans are familiar with commuter trains used to get into and out of the city. For many, they make getting to and from work easier, and for the most part, can be safer than driving to and from the city each day. However, when an accident happens, it can have a devastating effect on the entire community and change the lives of those involved in an accident such as train derailments.

Those who live and work in New York City recently experienced one such incident. A commuter train derailed and crashed, killing four and injuring several others. According to a report, the train’s driver spoke of being “in a daze,” just before the accident occurred. Authorities tested him for alcohol impairment but that test came back negative. Drug test results are still pending.

The Dec. 1 accident happened when the train, which was going 82 mph – well above the recommended speed limit for this particular part of the track – failed to negotiate a turn and derailed. The driver has stated that he snapped out of the daze just before the curve and attempted to apply the brakes. Some in the industry believe the driver suffered from a sort of road hypnosis, which is a daze that occurs when the same landscape is in front of your for long stretches. Up until the accident, the veteran driver had never had any disciplinary action taken against him.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating but cautions that any conclusions regarding a cause for the accident could still be months away. However, that does not mean that those who were directly impacted by the accident are not entitled to seek compensation for their injuries or the loss of their loved ones. An experienced legal professional can help anyone who might be considering collecting damages learn what their rights for relief might be and how they can go about requesting such relief.

Chicago Tribune, “Driver in fatal New York train crash was ‘in a daze’” Daniel Trotta, Dec. 02, 2013