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Railroad Accidents by R. C. Richards

RAILROAD ACCIDENTS

THEIR CAUSE AND PREVENTION

BY

R. C. RICHARDS

Published by

THE ASSOCIATION OF RAILWAY CLAIM AGENTS

1906

COPYRIGHT, 1906 BY R. C. RICHARDS

GIFT OF O. A. MOORE

Introduction

Railroad Accidents

Their Cause and Prevention

Much has been said and written during recent years about the increasing number of railroad accidents in this country--their cause and what action should be taken by the government, the railroads and the employees to reduce them and the consequent loss of life and limb resulting therefrom. Believing that if the cause of our many accidents were properly understood more care would be taken by the corporations, employees and persons at fault to reduce the number, I shall try to point out in the following pages what investigation has shown me to be the cause of many accidents and how their reoccurrence could, I think, be prevented.

In the transaction of the business of a railroad its first and highest duty is to the passengers, to carry them safely and speedily; next, to take care of the property entrusted to it for transportation, and for which it is practically an insurer against everything but the act of God or the public enemy, and deliver it with reasonable dispatch to the consignee in practically the same condition as that in which it is received.

It is a self-evident proposition that the nearer the railroads come to performing this duty, the fewer losses and claims for damages they will have to pay, and, as a matter of course, the more money there will be left with which to pay wages, interest, dividends, and make improvements. So it behooves all, who are working for those wages, to do everything they can to help carry on the business properly and correctly in order that the interest of the companies hiring them, as well as their individual interest, will be subserved, and for the more important reason of causing as little suffering, pain, and sorrow to those who by accident may be maimed or killed, which always brings trouble and sorrow to the victim as well as to his family, and frequently results in untold suffering and privation to the widows and children.

The report of the Interstate Commerce Commission shows that for the year ending June 30, 1904, there were

441 passengers killed. 3,632 employees killed. 839 not trespassers killed. 5,105 trespassers killed. 9,111 passengers injured. 67,067 employees injured. 2,499 not trespassers injured. 5,194 trespassers injured.

Making 10,017 killed and 83,871 injured, or a total of killed and injured of 93,888, many times over the casualties of our last war, and all the roads seem to have done their share of this havoc.


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