Can Trails Make Rails Safer?
Annually 500 trespassers are killed in rail corridors.
With 142,000 miles of freight corridor, that s an annual fatality rate of One fatality for every 300 miles of rail corridor.
Not even one fatality has been recorded during the 40-year history of rails-with-trails for a pessimistically estimated annual fatality rate of One fatality for every 8000 miles.
Can we explain this 26-to-1 difference in fatality rates?
Americans, rightly or wrongly, consider rail corridors to be trails. If Rails are trails, they are terribly dangerous ones. They are also poor trails, awkward to walk.
Simply by providing a better, nearby trail, people apparently walk on the real trails thus reducing rail trespass fatality rates.