ANALYSIS OF CHANGES IN DRIVER REACTION TO IMPROVED WARNING DEVICES AT A 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 have additional strobe lights; to evaluate suitable parameters and 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. 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 deceleration to show improved effectiveness. /Author/

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Conducted in cooperation with DOT/FHWA. Research study was titled "A Field Evaluation of Driver Information Systems for Highway/Railway Grade Crossings". Presented at the 55th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Purdue University/Indiana Department of Transportation JHRP

    Purdue University, School of Civil Engineering
    West Lafayette, IN  USA  47907-1284
  • Authors:
    • Russell, E R
    • Michael, H L
    • Butcher, T A
  • Publication Date: 1976-1-13

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 36 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00141701
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Safety Council Safety Research Info Serv
  • Report/Paper Numbers: JHRP-76-7 Tech Paper
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: Mar 30 1977 12:00AM