Amtrak provides nationwide passenger train transport in the United States, including service to a number of locations in the New York area. After a recent crash in Philadelphia, however, many riders are wondering just how safe Amtrak’s passenger service is. The Washington Post recently released an article summarizing Amtrak safety data gathered by the Federal Railroad Administration.
An overall view of Amtrak’s accident rate per 1 million passenger miles shows that the number of accidents has been dropping in recent years. In 2012, 2013, and 2014, Amtrak experienced fewer than 2 accidents per 1 million passenger miles – a rate considerably lower than the rate of other types of travel accidents, like motor vehicle crashes. The number of derailments of Amtrak trains each year has also dropped, from an average of 80 in 2000 to an average of 28 in 2014.
Of these accidents, the number caused by sections of faulty or damaged track has decreased significantly, from a peak at over 70 crashes per 1 million passenger miles in the late 1980s and early 1990s to approximately 20 accidents per 1 million passenger miles today. The number of accidents caused by either human error or faulty equipment, however, has increased slightly in 2014 after dropping steadily for the past decade.
Although the number of deaths has also dropped in recent years, the number of injuries appears to be rising. Amtrak had four passenger deaths in 2012 but nearly 800 passenger injuries, compared to 13 deaths in 1999 but fewer than 100 injuries.
At Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, our experienced New York train accident lawyers are dedicated to helping our clients seek the compensation they deserve. Contact us today to learn more.