#GetHomeSafe: Know what to do when you’re behind the wheel and near the tracks!

National Teen Driver Safety Week So you’re ready to hit the road, behind the wheel, solo, for the first time. You call up your buddies and plan for a night of good times. Your mom tells you to be careful, and hands over the keys… You’re thinking, you’ve got this, and roll out the door. You put the keys in the ignition, crank the tunes and hit the gas, and head out to pick up your buddies. You never really thought about that railway crossing before; your driving instructor went over what to do when you approach the crossing, but you don’t remember. The red lights begin to flash and the gates start to lower. For a second you think about gunning it over the tracks, but then your mom’s parting warning, “be careful”, rings through loud and clear. You apply the brakes and stop well back from the gates and flashing lights. As the train rumbles past, you think to yourself… What is it exactly that I am supposed to do at a railway crossing? I don’t even know! Well, young driver, we’ve got you covered: Take a spin through these rail safety tips so when you approach your next railway crossing, you know exactly what’s up and there will be no hesitation:
  • This first tip isn’t just about rail safety. Frankly, it’s just good driving. Every time you’re behind the wheel, keep your eyes on the road and off your phone. If you’re busy responding to a text, you could run your car right smack into the side of a train.
  • Tip number two is for real—Think we’re joking? We’re not: Expect a train on any track at any time. This means, any time is train time—literally.
  • You’d think this next rail safety tip would be a no brainer, but you would be surprised to know that this legit happens (as proof, check out Thomas McHugh’s story): Never get trapped on a highway-railway crossing. Wait until you are sure you can clear the crossing completely.
  • You know the saying, "look both ways before you cross the road"? The same goes for the tracks…. When you see one train pass, make sure there isn’t another one coming. Watch out for a second train. Do not proceed until you are sure that there is no train coming on another track!
  • Now this rail safety tip we touched upon earlier in this blog post, but just to be clear: Never drive around the gates. If the gate is down, or in the process of being raised or lowered, do not cross the tracks.
  • And last but not least…. Racing a train is never a good idea. The odds are stacked against you…. So just to ring this one home loud and clear: Never race a train to the crossing because even in a tie, you lose! Get it? Got it! GOOD!
If you’re still feeling not so sure and you’re a kid who wants to know more, check out some of the links below.
  • Take our driver’s quiz. This lil' gem will help you to build up that confidence behind the wheel.
  • And we totally want to introduce you to our boy Bob and his many misadventures near the tracks. The guy isn’t the smartest dude on the block. Don’t believe us? Check him out for yourself. And do us a favour? Pass him and his antics along to your friends.Bob texting and driving kills
And finally, in all seriousness, this week marks the fourth annual National Teen Driving Week (NTDSW) across Canada hosted by one of our valued partners Parachute Canada, which is a national charitable organization dedicated to preventing injuries and saving lives. What does this mean? It means, word on the street is that young drivers like yourself are in the sights of many (i.e. the police, safety organizations, fire, ambulances etc.) So do your part, know what to do behind the wheel and near the tracks. Your mom (and dad) will be stoked you did. And you’ll live to drive another day.