Make your summer road trip a rail-safe one

Long weekends and road trips go hand-in-hand, like peanut butter and jelly. There’s nothing like the freedom of hitting the road with a carload of friends or family on a summer’s day. But if a road trip is on your to-do list this weekend, spend some time brushing up on the rail safety rules before packing up and heading off.
Almost 20 per cent of reported collisions in Canada happen during the summer months. In fact, according to Canada’s National Collision Database, there are more car accidents in August than any other month of the year.
Be sure you know the railway signs and signals before hitting the road
Road trips often mean long hours behind the wheel and driving in unfamiliar areas. Since there are close to 43,000 kms of railway tracks across the country, this can often take you onto roads that intersect with railway tracks. If drivers don’t know—and follow—the rail safety rules, this can be a deadly combination.
Brushing up on your railway signs and signals is one way to ensure you stay safe on your next road trip. And if you’re travelling through the United States, be aware that U.S. railroad signs are different. South of the border, signs warning of upcoming tracks are yellow and round with a big ‘X’ on them. Crossing signs are different too – they’re black and white, unlike the red and white crossbucks that we see in Canada.
Whether you’re driving to the cottage or across the country, getting there in one piece should always be the goal. So get to know your railway signs and signals, and brush up on these summer driving tips before you hit the road. It could save your life.