ANALYSIS OF DRIVER REACTION TO WARNING DEVICES AT A HIGH-ACCIDENT RURAL GRADE CROSSING

The objectives of this research were to analyze the effect on motorists of improving the warning devices at a high-accident, rural grade crossing, from 8-inch flashers to automatic gates and 12-inch flashers activated by a Marquardt speed predictor and having additional strobe lights; to evaluate suitable parameters to make the analysis; to study accident history and site conditions and relate these to motorist reaction to the system - before and after; and to evaluate the data collection system itself. Spot speeds were taken at eight points on each approach to obtain an approach speed profile for various groups under various conditions after the signal system was improved. These were compared to similar data taken before system improvement. It was shown that an activated gate arm can be as effective in slowing the average approaching vehicle as a train across the road. Train and signal conspicuity were a problem and contributed to the poor accident record of older drivers. The Strobe lights made the warning system more visible after activation. Most drivers approach a grade crossing safely and mean speed of various groups shows trends but is a relatively weak parameter to test effectiveness, because they do not isolate the occasional, unsafe driver. Percent reduction of fastest cars, along with examining individual "fastest" cars, is a better parameter than mean speeds and decelerations to show improved effectiveness.

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Purdue University/Indiana Department of Transportation JHRP

    Purdue University, School of Civil Engineering
    West Lafayette, IN  USA  47907-1284

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  USA  20590

    Indiana State Highway Commission

    Indianapolis, IN  USA  46204
  • Authors:
    • Russell, E R
  • Publication Date: 1974-8

Media Info

  • Pagination: 233 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00080399
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Highway Safety Research Institute
  • ISBN: JHRP-74-16
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Final Rpt., HS-015 750
  • Contract Numbers: HPR-1 (11) Part II
  • Files: HSL, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Feb 27 1976 12:00AM