Railroad track safety compliance errors can lead to deteriorated or defective cross-ties including defective joint bolts, disturbed ballasts, surface deviations and other track maintenance issues.
Crossing gate and light signal malfunctions are common rail crossing failures. Ten percent or 815 railroad incidents occurred at rail crossings in 2019, according to the Federal Rail Administration.
A substantial number of train accidents caused by train operator error are caused by a failure to apply brakes or properly decelerate the train. Other train accident causes include brake system failures and emergency brake malfunction.
Improperly lined run-through switches in rail yard operations, worn or broken switch points, and improper speed can contribute to rail switch accidents and train derailment.
Excessive coupling speed, failure to comply with switch speed and train derailments due to high speeds can result in severe railway accidents.
In railway operation, several safety-critical tasks are assigned to the operators and are not controlled by signalling and interlocking systems. Rail accidents caused by train operator error or fatigue account for a significant portion of all railroad accidents.