Important new link in the sidebar
I've added a link to Operation Lifesaver, a rail safety education site. A girl from the church I attended in Texas was killed at a railroad crossing, less than a quarter mile from her home, on her way to school. She was in a hurry and running late and evidently never saw the train coming.
In 1972, when Operation Lifesaver began, there were approximately 12,000 collisions between trains and motor vehicles annually. By 2005, the most recent year for which final statistics are available, the number of train/motor vehicle collisions had been reduced by approximately 75% to 3,010. The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) within the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) is responsible for collecting information about highway-rail grade crossing and pedestrian/trespasser incidents.
Fatalities have falled from 728 to 355.
Operation Lifesaver has a great set of PSAs available here.
Don't race trains to the crossing. Stop, look, listen. Don't drive around gates. Abandon a stalled car. Always check for a second train before proceeding.
And if your car does stall and you have to abandon it, move away from it toward the oncoming train, at an angle away from the tracks. This will prevent flying debris from hitting you.