If a car breaks down on a railroad crossing, put it into gear and use the starter motor to jerk it clear. This will work with a manual transmission vehicle but not with an automatic. If a train is approaching abandon the car, carry children or infirm persons to safety and stay away – about 50yds (45m) should be far enough – because if a train is traveling at high speed it could throw car wreckage quite a distance.

If there is no train visible, or you can see one several miles in the distance, you must try to avoid the collision. If the car can be moved by pushing, push it clear of all tracks – you cannot be sure which one the train will be on. If there is an emergency telephone, call 911. If not, walk up the tracks towards the train. Stand well to one side (high speed trains have quite a slipstream) and wave a car blanket or bright colored garment to warn the driver. If he is doing his job properly he will know that he is approaching a crossing and should look ahead to see if all is clear.