In New York's Westchester County, a recent railroad accident ended in flames when a Metro-North commuter train hit a sport-utility vehicle during the evening rush hour. Six people, including the driver of the car, were killed on impact and 15 more were treated for injuries at a local hospital. While investigations are still ongoing, experts say human error is the likeliest cause of the deadly collision. According to witness statements, Ellen Brody, the mother of three who was behind the wheel of the ill-fated vehicle, was caught in between closed crossing gates when she drove forward into the path of the oncoming train. Without clear answers as to why she did not reverse back to safety or whether any fatalities could have been prevented with safeguards, contacting a railroad accident attorney may be the only recourse for victims and their families. Devastating videos of the fire that followed the Metro-North commuter train collision - purportedly caused by the explosion of the car's fuel tank and damage from the electrified third rail on the tracks - have gained this crash national attention, but it is hardly an isolated incident. According to the Federal Railroad Administration, hundreds of train accidents take place every year, many causing deaths and debilitating injuries. In 2013 alone, nationwide statistics show 2,087 train collisions, 251 fatalities and 929 injuries. The tragic event in Westchester joins a series of mishaps that have raised questions about railroad safety in the New York metropolitan area and beyond. In the last two years, Metro-North, the country's second largest commuter rail line, has been plagued by service interruptions, work-related injuries, power failures and multiple derailments. In December of 2013, a derailment in the Spuyten Duyvil section of the Bronx - the railroad's deadliest in decades - killed four passengers and injured more than 70 others. Inquiries into the cause of the crash found undiagnosed sleep apnea was the reason why the train's engineer fell asleep behind the controls, leaving the train to round a dangerous curve at almost triple the posted speed limit and causing its derailment. Regulators from the National Transportation Board cited for the lack of detailed employee screening as the main cause of the Bronx derailment, adding it to the list of four other Metro-North accidents believed to be caused by lapses in company procedures and outdated safety equipment. Back in May of the same year, another Metro-North derailment near Fairfield, Connecticut, injured more than 60 passengers. Just a couple of weeks later, a Metro-North foreman was struck by a train when a track he was working on was opened by an inexperienced controller. Since the fatal accident in the Bronx, Metro-North has made some changes, including appointing a new president who vowed to make safety a priority. While the company's problems are regional, they have sparked broader concerns about national railroad safety standards and prompted a review of current guidelines. The good news is that taking the train remains a reliable and generally safe way to get around. Thousands of people in Texas, New York and elsewhere ride trains to work and back without a hitch, but as with any form of transportation, accidents can happen. Being prepared for the unexpected is always the smartest way to travel. In the rare case that you or someone in your family is injured in a train accident, retaining the right legal counsel can make all the difference. While passengers can contact any Houston personal injury attorney with experience in railroad law, railroad workers should look specifically for a FELA claim lawyer. If you are a railroad employee who was hurt on the job, filing for FELA benefits is the first step to getting compensated for your injuries.