Speed Reduction Profiles Affecting Vehicle Interactions at Level Crossings with No Trains

Observed road vehicle speed and deceleration profiles at active level crossings in the absence of a train are investigated and linked to safety performance. Results indicated that speed and deceleration profiles could be segmented into two zones along the approach road. Speed reduction was initiated at an upstream point along the road about 60 m from the track (Zone 1), and this became more pronounced for the road segment 20 to 30 m before the track (Zone 2). Although the deceleration rates based on average vehicle speeds were found to be within comfortable thresholds in both approach zones, a safety concern was raised for the worst-case scenario in which lead vehicles were reducing their speeds at a higher rate than following vehicles. Safety performance using an average crash potential index per vehicle was found to increase in the vicinity of the track for a given case study crossing application. The range of safety performance values was also found to be greater in Zone 2; this finding suggested possible safety concerns about rear-end crashes taking place near the track and the added possibility of a vehicle being pushed onto the track in the path of an oncoming train. This study provides useful insight for modifying speed profiles in a traffic simulation model to account for the presence of a level crossing. The analysis also provides insights into a base crash risk for an open crossing. These insights can be used to refine previous estimates of countermeasure effectiveness, including closures.


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  • Accession Number: 01156958
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780309142809
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 10-2376
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Jan 25 2010 11:06AM