Escape if Your Car Is Stalled on the Tracks of an Approaching Train

Obviously, if someone is in a situation such as this, they won't have time to whip out a laptop computer and log on to wikiHow. The purpose of this How-To is to inform beforehand. Most people don't give much thought to situations such as these (as they will probably never be faced with them), but if they do find themselves unexpectedly faced with automotive emergencies, they may panic and act on rash impulse. Know exactly what to do.


  1. Get out of the car immediately. Do not honk your horn and expect the train to stop; a train will not be able to come to a complete stop immediately. Even if it is slowing down, it will still plow through you before it can come to a stop. Do not attempt to play chicken with a moving train. It's not backing down; you must. Get out of the car, and tell any passengers do to the same.
    • A train going at 50 miles per hour takes about one mile to come to a complete stop.
  2. Do not stop to take anything with you. Do not risk your life to gather objects from the back seat (unless they are infant passengers). You may be too late. You may want to take a cell phone if it is in easy reach.
  3. Get off of the tracks. As in, as soon as possible.
  4. Run towards the direction from which the train is coming. Do not attempt to run away from the train; when the train collides with your car, the wreckage may fly through the air and hit you. Run in the opposite direction of the train. It may be best to take cover, if there is any, to avoid flying debris from the car being smashed by the train.


  • Always pay attention at railroad crossings. Do not attempt to "beat the train". This is foolish and (frankly) idiotic. The best way to deal with a situation such as this is to avoid the situation entirely.


  • You stand virtually zero chance of surviving if you are struck head-on by a train. Move as quickly as possible.
  • Get as far away from the site as possible. The train may derail or shrapnel may be flung through the air. Do not linger, and especially do not attempt to re-enter the car.
  • If you are at fault for the collision, you are about to face some serious problems in the near future.

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