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Drowsy Driving May Have Been a Factor in CTA Train Crash That Injured Over 30

According to CTA union president Robert Kelly, the operator of the Blue Line train involved in a train crash at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago early Monday morning may have fallen asleep at the wheel. The train train jumped the platform and went up an escalator.

Over 30 people were injured in the CTA train crash. None of the injuries are life-threatening.

The National Transportation Safety Board is looking into the accident. After the train crash, the eight-car train remained stuck on the escalator so investigators could try to figure out what happened.

Kelly suggested that a bumping post, which serves as a metal shock absorber, might have shot the train off the track. This could have caused the driver’s hand to push the lever forward, increasing the train’s power and sending it off and over the post.

He also noted that there are signs to indicate that that train operator, who works a lot of overtime and had been off just 17 hours before beginning her overnight shift, may have been tired at the time of the accident and dozed off.

Massachusetts Train Crashes
Our Boston train accident lawyers represent victims that were injured in a Massachusetts that was caused by someone else’s negligence. Example of common causes of MBTA injury cases include train malfunction, derailment, operator error, crossing gate malfunction, drowsy driving, and distracted driving. We also handle MBTA injury cases involving incidents that occurred on the premises of a station, including injuries caused by violent crimes. Please contact one of our Massachusetts premises liability lawyers to find out about your legal options.

Altman & Altman lLP also handles cases involving injury accidents caused by unsafe conditions on trains, buses, station platforms, escalators, elevators, stairwells, and entries, and other MBTA locations. Please contact our Boston MBTA accident lawyers today.

Drowsy Driving
A train operator who is tired can pose a safety risk. His/her reflexes may be slower, which can make it hard to respond quickly and appropriately in an emergency situation. Falling asleep at the wheel of any vehicle can prove catastrophic for passengers and others involved in a crash.

The New York Times says that in 2009, drowsy driving was a factor in about 730 fatal motor vehicle crashes. Another 30,000 drowsy driving crashes occurred in which there were no deaths. Imagine how high the death and injury toll can be when the vehicle involved is as large as a train and carrying so many occupants.

Focus in CTA crash falls on operator fatigue, speeding, Chicago Tribune, March 24, 2013

Drowsy Drivers Pose Major Risks, New York Times, January 4, 2013

National Transportation Safety Board

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority

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