Driver Performance on Approach to Crossbuck and STOP Sign Equipped Crossings

In order to improve safe driving behavior at grade crossings, it is important to understand driver actions at or on approach to those areas. Thus, in order to gain a better understanding of the problem, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Office of Research and Development funded a project to study driver activities at or on approach to grade crossings. The findings are discussed in the FRA report titled Driver Behavior Analysis at Highway-Rail Grade Crossings using Field Operational Test Data—Light Vehicles (http://www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/details/L04573). The analysis presented herein is based on follow-on research related to the findings discussed in the aforementioned report. The analysis focused on studying the effect of crossbucks only and crossbucks with STOP signs on driver behavior by examining braking activity and speed profiles on approach to such crossings. The analysis was performed using recently collected data on drivers’ activities at or on approach to grade crossings from the Integrated Vehicle Based Safety Systems (IVBSS) Field Operational Test (FOT) sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The FOT included 108 participants and 16 research vehicles. Figure 1 shows a research vehicle on approach to a crossing equipped with crossbucks. The analysis of driver behavior (speed profile and braking activities) on approach to highway-rail grade crossings reveals that speed reductions are much greater and occur sooner at crossings equipped with STOP signs than at crossings equipped with crossbucks only. Older drivers tend to approach crossings more slowly and slow down more than younger and middle-aged drivers. There were no noticeable gender differences. The analysis of braking activities reveals that almost 100 percent of drivers applied brakes on approach to crossings equipped with STOP signs compared with 56 percent at crossings equipped with crossbucks. Male and middle-aged drivers applied brakes slightly more often than their counterparts on approach to crossings equipped with crossbucks. No clear gender or age-group differences were observed on approach to crossings equipped with STOP signs.

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: 4p
  • Serial:
  • Publication flags:

    Open Access (libre)

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01530998
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: NTL, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jul 24 2014 10:14AM