Why Do Trucks Get Stuck on Train Tracks?

Train track accidents are more common than people might think. From trucks getting stuck to people accidentally getting caught on tracks, there are many reasons why accidents occur. This article will explore different types of train track accidents and what you should do if you find yourself in a dangerous situation.


Trucks Getting Stuck on Train Tracks

Trucks getting stuck on train tracks is a common occurrence. The Federal Railroad Administration has designated it a “highway-rail grade crossing incident.” Several factors contribute to this issue:

  1. Many trucks are too big to clear the tracks, especially carrying heavy loads.
  2. The angle of approach to the tracks can also play a role. If the truck is coming down a hill or around a curve, it might need more space to slow down in time or make the turn.
  3. The condition of the tracks can also contribute to accidents.

Trucks can lose traction and get stuck if the rails are wet or icy.

Why Do Trucks Stop at Train Tracks?

Truck drivers need to stop at train tracks for several reasons:

  1. They must check for oncoming trains and wait for them to pass before proceeding.
  2. They must ensure their truck is clear of the tracks by checking that the truck’s bed is not hanging over the tracks and that all four wheels are on the ground.
  3. They must listen for warning bells or signals indicating a train is approaching.

Following these steps will allow them to proceed safely.

Do People Get Stuck on Train Tracks?

Getting stuck on train tracks is a common occurrence that can happen for several reasons. Some people may not hear the train coming as they walk along the tracks, while others may misjudge the speed of an approaching train. There are also cases where people intentionally venture onto the tracks due to suicidal tendencies or alcohol intoxication. Regardless of the reason, it is crucial to be aware of one’s surroundings and avoid train tracks as they are hazardous. In case of seeing someone on the tracks, it is essential to call 911 instead of attempting to rescue them, as it is dangerous.

Why Do 18-Wheelers Get Hit by Trains?

While most train accidents are car-train collisions, another prevalent type is when a train collides with an 18-wheeler truck at crossings. These accidents can be severe, and the reasons behind them are varied. The size and weight of the truck can make it harder to stop in time, and the driver’s visibility may be compromised due to blind spots. Additionally, some truck drivers may need to be made aware of the specific road rules that apply at crossings, leading to accidents. To minimize these incidents, measures should be taken to improve safety at crossings.

Can a Cow Derail a Train?

Cows can cause train derailments, as they often wander onto train tracks, particularly attracted to the grass that grows alongside them. The impact of a train hitting a cow can cause significant damage, particularly if the cow is large or if the train is traveling at high speeds. Though cows are generally considered harmless animals, they can pose significant dangers to trains and train passengers. For instance, a 2017 incident in Colorado saw a cow derail a freight train, resulting in more than $100,000 worth of damage.

What Do You Do if You Get Stuck on a Train Track?

Finding oneself stuck on a train track is an unfortunate and dangerous situation. Try to get off the track immediately to increase the chances of survival. If this is not possible, lying down between the rails, close to the ground, can help protect against being hit by the train. Additionally, shouting and waving arms can signal the train driver to stop the train before it collides with the person. Finally, if there is no other option, covering one’s head and vital organs as much as possible may provide some protection. Though it is always best to avoid such situations, following these steps can increase one’s chances of survival if stuck on a train track.

Are There Magnets on Train Tracks?

Trains are powered by electricity produced by a dynamo that creates a magnetic field that propels the train forward. Although the interaction between the motor and the rails does create magnets, the magnetic field produced is too weak to affect compass readings, contrary to popular belief.


Trucks can get stuck on train tracks for various reasons, such as drivers needing to be more familiar with the rules of the road or oversized trucks being unable to stop in time. To prevent accidents, it is crucial to seek help immediately and remove the truck from the tracks. Being aware of potential dangers cows pose on train tracks and knowing what to do if stuck on a train track are essential for ensuring one’s safety around trains.

About the author, Laurence Perkins

Laurence Perkins is the passionate car enthusiast behind the blog My Auto Machine. With over a decade of experience in the automotive industry, Perkins has knowledge and experience with a wide range of car makes and models. His particular interests lie in performance and modification, and his blog covers these topics in-depth. In addition to his own blog, Perkins is a respected voice in the automotive community and writes for various automotive publications. His insights and opinions on cars are highly sought-after.