Why is there no seat-belts on trains?


I’m currently traveling on a high-speed train and I’ve noticed that there is no single seatbelt on it. Why is this? Aren’t trains exposed to the same dangerous factors as cars?

In: 5

>Aren’t trains exposed to the same dangerous factors as cars?


Train is less likely to be involved in a crash by nature of being in a much more controlled environment. Also the sheer mass means that even in a crash much less energy is passed to the passengers. Still seat belts would make it safer but the cost is not insignificant and you’d still have to enforce it. Overall risk vs reward says they’re not worth it.

Train accidents occur at far lower rates than car accidents, so the risk is much lower.

Car accident dynamics are different too. In a car accident, it’s common for your car to suddenly come to a stop. Without a seatbelt, your body will continue moving forward, and will most likely go through the windshield and you’ll land a couple hundred feet later, maybe getting run over by another passing car on the road. Seat belts prevent this.

Train cars are much, much, much heavier than cars. It would take a massive force to just stop a train car from moving instantly. Even if a train car crashed into a brick building, that probably wouldn’t slow it down very much. Therefore, the risk of being violently thrown forward is lower. There’s still risk of a train car overturning, which would throw you around and do some damage. But again, the risk of an accident is so ridiculously low, that adding seat belts would barely change any injury or death statistics.

In the US, a couple hundred deaths occur each year due to train accidents, without seat belts. Car deaths are over 40,000, and that’s with seat belts.

Trains are far less likely to be in accidents then cars. Train crashes are extremely rare while car crashes are quite common. And when there are lethal train crashes the types of injuries we observe are very different from the ones in car crashes and seatbelts is likely not going to save many lives. The forces and types of impact is just so very different. It might even be argued that seatbelts makes it harder to evaccuate a train in case of fire or other hazards and may therefore cause more deaths then they prevent. Either way it is not worth the discomfort and cost that seatbelts have.

All of the answers, here, are just plain wrong. It has nothing to do with the frequency of crash, but everything to do with what happens in such crashes. In a car crash, whether a head on or t-bone, the deceleration is HIGH; that is, fast deceleration. That means your inertia tends to throw you into the windshield. Most train wrecks don’t have such deceleration, meaning you are not thrown forward like a car crash.