EFFECTS OF LOCAL KNOWLEDGE AND SIGHT RESTRICTIONS ON DRIVER BEHAVIOR AT OPEN RAILWAY CROSSINGS

The behavior of road traffic was studied at an "open" railway crossing, i.e., a crossing protected by a static array of signs and with no automatic device warning of an approaching train. Drivers' head movements and mean approach speeds were obtained in order to assess the effects of local knowledge and sight restrictions on behavior. The crossing studied had a major visibility restriction for westbound traffic and trains on only 3 days a week. It was found that mean speeds at the crossbucks for cars and car derivatives were essentially similar on days with trains compared with days without trains. The mean reduction in approach speed of westbound traffic, however, was significantly greater than that for eastbound traffic on all days. This was not true of commercial vehicles which traveled somewhat more slowly eastbound because of a slight grade in the road. About one third of drivers looked left and right to see if a train was coming, one third looked only to the right, and the remaining one third did not look at all. Local knowledge of train movements did not materially influence behavior at this crossing.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    National Safety Council

    444 North Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL  United States  60611
  • Authors:
    • WIGGLESWORTH, E C
  • Publication Date: 1978

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00190274
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Engineering Index
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-024 338
  • Contract Numbers: 057701, DOT-HS-052-1-068
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 26 1979 12:00AM