Two train accidents near New Jersey within the last 24 hours should remind our readers of the dangers trains pose to drivers. In one of the accidents, a commuter train crashed into a car that reportedly drove around lowered railroad gates in order to pass through. That accident happened at the Main Street Crossing in North Hackensack. The other accident, which was unrelated, took place in Morris Township yesterday, when a woman drove her vehicle into a freight train. The woman was reportedly driving on East Hanover Avenue around 10 a.m. when her Volkswagen Passat rear-ended the caboose of the two-car train. The first accident apparently took place around 8 p.m. on the New Jersey Transit Pascack Valley Line, according to a spokeswoman from New Jersey Transit. The accident apparently caused rail traffic to stop until a tow truck arrived to remove the car. The train was delayed around an hour and another commuter train was delayed for 15 minutes. Luckily, no injuries occurred in that accident. The driver in the second accident, though, did suffer minor injuries. Train accidents, while not a topic we write about a lot on this blog, actually occur rather frequently across the state. And while these accidents can be dangerous, to say the least, to the vehicle hit by the trains, they are actually quite distressing for the engineers operating the trains. I mean, how would you feel if you train plowed over a pedestrian or smashed into a car that meandered onto the tracks illegally? Nearly 500 people die nationwide every year as a result of trespassing onto train tracks. This year, nine people have lost their lives on New Jersey Transit train tracks in Bergen and Passaic counties. Three of them were teen boys from Wayne and Garfield earlier this month. Source:, "NJ Transit train hits car on railroad tracks in Bergen County," October 26, 2011.