Comparison of driver behavior at highway-railroad crossings in two cities

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Abstract

This paper attempts to answer two questions pertaining to highway-railroad grade crossing (HRGC) safety. First, does unsafe driver behavior differ at HRGCs located in two cities? Second, is there a difference in drivers' response to the same safety treatment at two HRGCs? The two HRGCs investigated are in Waverly and Fremont, Nebraska. Unsafe behaviors investigated at both locations were passing around closing or closed gates and making U-turns while waiting for trains to pass. The safety treatment used at the HRGCs was a barrier installed along the street center leading up to the gates that made it difficult for drivers to engage in unsafe maneuvers. Analysis of the collected data showed that drivers in Waverly engaged in more frequent gate passing compared with drivers in Fremont. Conversely, drivers in Fremont more frequently made U-turns at HRGCs. Installation of the barrier reduced gate passing and U-turns at both locations; the percentage of reductions in gate passing and U-turns at the two locations were comparable. Based on the results, the conclusions are that drivers' unsafe behavior at HRGCs is location-dependent, but the order of magnitude of drivers' response to the same safety treatment at different locations is quite similar.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-77
Number of pages6
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number2122
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2009

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

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