WATCH: Train smashes through truck in Chile

Here are a few safety tips for heavy truck drivers at rail/level crossings

In this horrific crash, a train smashes through a truck killing two people. The incident occurred in the Chilean town of Requinoa at the start of March.

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Dramatic video footage from a surveillance camera captured the collision. International data indicates that heavy trucks are involved in about 15% of fatal rail crossing crashes.

Arrive Alive has some safety advice for heavy truck drivers at rail/level crossings:

  • Know the length of your vehicle and load overhang in relation to space available to safely clear a crossing on the other side.
  • Be aware of the length of your truck and trailer. It important for getting through the crossing – do not block the adjacent streets if you are going to wait for a train to cross.
  • Know the time it takes for you to bring your truck and trailers to a stop if you need to and the time it will take to clear the crossing with the truck and the trailer .
  • Check if the height of the truck is clear from the height gauge. If it is not clear do not proceed across a level crossing. This is to avoid touching the high voltage electrical overhead wires.
  • Be aware of the load on your truck – Trucks carrying heavy loads may take more time to clear the tracks than you anticipated.

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Approaching and crossing level crossings:

  • Remember that trains always have the right of way
  • Some crossings have warning lights and some with boom gates.
  • Prepare early; make sure you give your truck enough time to pull up.
  • Be extra vigilant at night as judging the speed and distance of the train can be extremely difficult.
  • Test the brakes and note the traffic behind.
  • To hear the sounds of trains and their warning whistles better, roll down the window; turn off audio equipment and fans.
  • Also ensure that passengers keep quiet and assist looking out for trains.
  • Obey the signage instructions provided at the level crossing.
  • Look out for short-stacking – This is when your truck hangs over the crossing because there is not enough space ahead – Make sure your path is clear before you start to cross.
  • Be familiar with railway crossings on your route – Avoid crossings where low-slung units can get stuck on raised crossings.
  • Use emergency brakes and flashers whilst waiting at the level crossing.
  • Vehicles with dangerous goods are instructed to stop at all level crossings even if it has a yield sign only.
  • Check for problems with visibility – Some conditions makes
  • it harder to check for trains at crossings.
  • Don’t gamble at s-bend roads, in glare or when roadside objects obscure your view.
  • If the sun is rising or setting over the railway line it will be difficult to see trains. Make double sure.
  • Use a gear which will let you cross the tracks without shifting.
  • If you have to open and close gates, do not park on the railway line to open the second gate.
  • Check the flashing lights (if installed) one final time before proceeding.
  • If the level crossing lights begin to flash after starting the truck, keep going, it is safer to continue forward than to reverse.
  • Do not attempt to cross the tracks unless you can see far enough down the track to ensure that no trains are approaching.
  • If you see a train approaching, you must stop – Never make the judgement call of your speed and the distance/speed of the train.

Source: YouTube and Arrive Alive