With increased oil production in the United States, the need to transport crude oil from one place to another has also increased. Unfortunately, this also increased the incidences of railroad accidents. Just one example is the train wreck that occurred this month in Alabama. A Train Wreck in Alabama At around 1:00 a.m., a train that was carrying North Dakota crude oil derailed outside of Aliceville, Alabama that ignited a fire in 11 of the train's 90 cars. No one was injured in this accident, and rescue workers decided to allow the fires to burn themselves out. The National Transportation Safety Board declined to send experts to the scene to investigate the cause of this incident. Another Train Derailment in Quebec The Alabama accident is reminiscent of another train wreck involving crude oil that occurred in Quebec, Canada. In July, a train's cars became detached from their locomotives and proceeded to travel down the hill on their own before exploding in the town of Lac-Megantic. Canada's Prime Minister described the area as a "war zone" after witnessing the destruction at the scene of this accident. Reaction to the Two Derailments After accidents such as the ones described above, calls for greater safety measures grow louder. To make safety a priority, two federal departments have increased inspections of trains that are carrying substances such as crude oil. The Federal Railway Administration of the Department of Transportation and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration began to perform inspections at important railway junctures. These agencies are seeking to ensure that the railroads are transporting crude oil as is required of them according to federal laws. The United States Congress has also entered into this discussion. Representative Mike Michaud introduced a bill that requires the presence of at least two crew members on every freight train. However, this type of legislation does not make everyone feel more secure. The good news is that the oil industry is aware of the need to improve safety on this preferred mode of transportation. One Oil Company's Answer to the Tragedies Crude oil was involved in 88 accidents in this country last year, and this is an increase over the number of incidents that occurred in 2011. To combat this sobering trend, BNSF Rail Company placed $4.3 billion toward improving tracks and implementing stricter safety regulations. The company will even review its own practices for how it transports crude oil and other hazardous materials to ensure that it can do so in the safest manner possible. Crude Oil Production Continues The production of crude oil has been very good for this country, and it is not expected to decrease in the near future. With more domestic production, American companies are receiving greater profits. The rest of the country benefits as well because gas and oil prices are coming down. Lastly, more jobs are being created. For these reasons, crude oil production will continue, and this may mean that railroad accidents will continue as well. The Importance of Hiring a Railroad Accident Lawyer If you are a railroad worker who has been hurt in a train accident, you will need the expertise of a railroad accident lawyer to help protect your rights. Under the Federal Employers Liability Act, you are entitled to demonstrate in court that your injuries are due to the negligence of the railroad. Do not try to navigate this difficult situation on your own. FELA attorneys know exactly what they need to do to show that your employer or the railroad was responsible for your injuries. Contact a railroad accident attorney today so that you can receive full compensation for the pain you have suffered.