Brightline Trains Kill Several Pedestrians

Only Weeks After Re-Opening from its COVID Closure

After more than 19 months of being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and supposedly taking that time to attempt to revamp some of the safety measures that were resulting in the railroad’s industry-worst death rate, Brightline trains recently resumed operations in South Florida in November. Despite supposedly attempting to reduce the large numbers of fatalities Brightline trains have been causing, the company’s trains have continued this trend and have resulted in numerous deaths in the few short weeks since the company resumed operations. This calls into question whether the company is doing what it can to ensure pedestrian safety around its railroad tracks.  

The Most Recent Deaths Involving Brightline Trains

The first of the recent deaths involving Brightline trains occurred in North Miami Beach. In that incident, which took place on December 7th, a pedestrian was walking on the train tracks and the train blew its horn, but the pedestrian did not move, and the train hit him. This was the 49th fatality since Brightline began operations in South Florida in 2017 and it was quickly followed by another fatal incident. On December 11th, only four days later, another pedestrian was killed in Hollywood by a Brightline train.  

Brightline Trains: More Dangerous Than Other Railroads in the United States

These recent deaths are just the tip of the iceberg as far as Brightline is concerned. Even though it was closed for 19 months as a result of the pandemic, Brightline trains did several test runs while it was closed to passenger traffic during this time, but still managed to kill a bicyclist in July 2021 during one of those test runs.  

Last year, according to statistics from National Public Radio, Brightline said that 75% of deaths along its tracks were suicides. That is a very high number, and one that a U.S. Department of Transportation study called into question, saying that suicides account for only about 30% of all rail fatalities nationwide, which makes Brightline’s assertion seem suspicious.  

The Associated Press also conducted a review of the fatality statistics for Brightline trains and noted they occur at a rate of more than one a month and about one for every 29,000 miles the trains have traveled, according to an analysis of Federal Railroad Administration data. That’s the worst per-mile death rate of the nation’s 821 railroads. The railroad with the next worst fatality rate to Brightline was central Florida’s SunRail, which since mid-2017 has had at least 15 deaths or about one every 100,000 miles, according to federal records. TriRail, a commuter service that operates in the same area as Brightline, averages about one death every 115,000 miles. Clearly, therefore, Brightline is not doing something right when it comes to safety around its railroad crossings.

Contact Schwed, Adams, and McGinley, P.A. if You Have Been Injured in a Florida Railroad Accident 

At Schwed, Adams, and McGinley, P.A., our experienced personal injury attorneys have hundreds of years of experience representing individuals who have been injured in railroad accidents that resulted in a wrongful death or catastrophic injuries. Trains travel at high speeds and are therefore extremely difficult to stop quickly, particularly if railroad employees are not paying attention as closely as they should and the railroad, much like Brightline, does not follow all reasonable safety precautions. When an accident involving a train occurs, which is unfortunately too often in South Florida considering how unsafe Brightline’s operations are, it often results in serious injuries or death for those involved. If you or a loved one have been injured in a train accident, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Schwed, Adams, and McGinley, P.A. today at 877-694-6079 or contact@schwedlawfirm.com to schedule a free consultation regarding your situation.