How Can Your Windshield Save Your Life in A Collision with a Train?

It seems an abnormal amount of strange news headlines come from Florida.  Being an online business that is especially focused on vehicle safety, we cycle through the news with a special kind of fervour.  After all, we want to insure that the members of our community–you! –get the best and most up to date information for your driving safety, and also help keep more money in your pockets.

Which is why Florida really sticks out–it seems there is never a dull moment in that state, and the internet tends to agree. There’s even a twitter account called @_FloridaMan that features some of the funnier and unbelievable news headlines that come out of the state.

All jokes aside, not too long ago there was an especially shocking headline that seemed to be a loud representation of a horrific trend–a train crash in Satsuma, Florida.

Reading the article was both heartbreaking to the team, and a call to remind people about the safety features of their vehicle.  So the team set to work spreading the word–after all, train crashes may not be common, but they are certainly extremely dangerous.  What we can learn from one train crash can prevent several other injuries, and even deaths, in the future.

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A Train in Putnam County

On June 7, 2015 it was reported that a train in Putnam County, Florida, had collided with the rear end of a Lincoln Navigator around 3:30pm.
The driver of the Lincoln Navigator, Gary Burch, entered the tracks and drove around the railroad crossing arms, which did appear to be down at the time.  The reason he did this is still unknown, and the investigation is pending regarding whether he would be charged with a citation or not–since Mr. Burch was in critical condition just hours after the accident.

When the train crashed into the vehicle, it threw the SUV several feet down the tracks.  By the time emergency crews arrived, Mr. Burch had to be extracted from the vehicle using the Jaws of Life, a hydraulic device that is used to cut people free from wreckage when they are trapped from a car crash.

Jaws of Life used on a car and windshield after an accident

Thankfully, the latest news reported that Mr. Burch was recovering, and the investigation was being continued.

The Ongoing Trend: Train Wrecks That Preceded and Followed

Before the Putnam County train collision, there was the March 2015 Halifax train crash in which a truck carrying an oversized load obstructed the train line and was struck by the Amtrack train.

Several trains have become suddenly and unexpectedly derailed since the beginning of 2015.  Some point fingers at the US government–as funding was significantly cut from railroad initiatives in the last hearing on the topic of transportation funding.  The United States has one of the worst safety track records in the developed world for railway lines, and coincidentally puts less money into their railway infrastructure than any other developed country.

Still others blame the rail lines themselves, as several accidents seem to be the result of recklessly traveling double the established speed limit, or failing to heed normal safety procedures.

It seems to be an issue that hits both sides with guilt.  Either way, it’s important that drivers are prepared in the event of a possible emergency–as arguing over who is to blame has never saved someone’s life.

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Invest In Your Glass, Invest In Your Safety

Regardless of how remote the threat of getting into an accident with a train might seem, you are still highly likely to get into an accident of some sort while driving.

Your auto glass is especially pertinent in the event of an extreme accident such as a collision with a train, or a roll over.  Here’s why:

Because of how your auto glass is manufactured, its vital combination of rigidity and flexibility contributes up to 60% of your vehicle cabin’s overall strength.  Correctly selected and installed auto glass can survive up to 3 consecutive rollovers, and hold up to 1.5 times the vehicle’s weight–preventing you and your passengers from getting crushed during an especially traumatic incident.

In fact, your glass is designed to keep you contained within the vehicle, rather than ejecting from the vehicle, during an accident.  That’s because you are much more likely to be critically injured or die if you eject from the vehicle.

Your auto glass is also an integral part of the airbag process.  When activated, your airbags deploy at a speed of 400 miles per hour.  Rather than impacting you head on, they actually bounce off of your auto glass first, and soften.

If your windshield doesn’t have a strong seal to hold it in place, is damaged, or is of poor quality, you put yourself needlessly in danger for a number of reasons.

While the investigation is still ongoing, it’s an interesting thought to point out that if Mr. Burch had properly installed auto glass in his Lincoln Navigator at the time of the accident, it was probably a major contributing factor as to what kept him alive, versus him being crushed to death.

Protect Yourself And Your Family From Unforeseen Accidents

Accidents by definition are not anticipated or planned for.  They happen to us when we least expect them, and we rarely have any time to prepare for them.

Thankfully, when it comes to your auto glass, you can get – and stay – prepared long before you ever get into an accident.

First of all, check out our library of convenient care and maintenance videos, to keep your windshield in tip top shape.  If there’s a question we’ve left unanswered, leave a comment for us, so we can add it to our list of videos we’re in the process of creating for our audience.  Help us leave no stone unturned–your safety is important to us!

Second–if you notice your windshield has damage of any sort that is larger than a quarter, it’s time to look into getting a replacement.

Use the free, no obligation, quote tool, to get up to 3 unbiased local quotes in just 30 seconds.  Our network of independent glass shops compete for your business by listing their credentials, the safety associations they’re a part of, the quality of glass they use, consumer star reviews, and so much more. 

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Because you’re a valuable member of the community, we pass on our specially negotiated discounts directly on to you–because you should never have to choose between your safety and your budget.

It’s our way of making sure more motorists–like you–are prepared for the unexpected, and that you can drive in comfort and style.

Don’t get caught wide-eyed and scared on the tracks of life.  Make sure your glass, and your car, are in tip top shape, so that you’re protected at all times.

Speaking of, let’s also not forget to mention that it’s a terrible idea to go beyond the railroad crossing arms–for any reason.  Even if you don’t see a train coming, it’s best to follow the rules of the road, and wait for the arms to go back up and indicate it’s safe to pass.

After all, you never know when a train is barrelling down the rail line at twice the speed limit, because congress didn’t approve some sort of safety funding.

The point is–take your safety into your hands.  Drive smartly, and keep your car in the best shape possible.  And especially take care of your glass–it could be the difference between life or death.