The risk of accident at flashing light, rail-highway crossings has been found to be ten times higher than the risk of accident at crossings equipped with barriers. The purpose of the present investigation was to study driver behaviour at rail-highway crossings and to relate measures of driver behaviour to risks of accident. A total of about 2000 drivers were observed at 16 crossings with driver head movements as the major dependent variable. This variable exhibits wide variation between drivers as well as satisfactory inter-observer reliability. The results showed that many drivers turned their heads to look for trains at rail-highway crossings in spite of the fact that the crossings are equipped with flashing lights. Furthermore, fewer drivers turned their heads in directions, where the risk of train-vehicle collisions have been found to be very high, than in directions where the risk of accident is less high. One conclusion from this study is that flashing lights are an unreliable source of information to drivers. This is not due to technical malfunctions but rather a function of drivers' normal strategy for information acquisition. (Author/TRRL)

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  • Corporate Authors:

    Uppsala University, Sweden

    Department of Psychology, Tradgardsgaten 20
    75220 Uppsala,   Sweden 
  • Authors:
    • AABERG, L
  • Publication Date: 1985

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00452864
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI)
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 374-1985 Monograph
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 31 1987 12:00AM