Drivers' Behavior at Railroad Grade Crossings: Before and After Safety Campaign, HR-335, 1992

(1992) Drivers' Behavior at Railroad Grade Crossings: Before and After Safety Campaign, HR-335, 1992. Transportation, Department of


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In April 1991 the Iowa Department of Transportation, the CNW Transportation Company, the SOO Line, and local agencies and business in the Mason City/Clear Lake area initiated an Operation Lifesaver program to attempt to increase public awareness of safety issues and safe behavior at railroad-highway grade crossings. This document reports an initial study of data on traffic characteristics at a selected set of grade crossings in Cerro Gordo County taken before and after the safety program. Twenty-two crossings were studied. The 13 crossings at which collisions were reported for the five years prior to the study were included in the sample of sites. Two field observations were made at each study crossing before the Operation Lifesaver campaign was in full swing, and two observations were made after the conclusion of the main effort of the campaign. The summary of each data set is contained in a companion volume. The research shows that Operation Lifesaver altered drivers' behavior in the following ways: (1) reduced approach speeds and crossing speeds at crossings with low speed limits, (2) reduced the percent of drivers approaching the crossing at speeds in excess of the posted speed limit, and (3) increased alertness of drivers to railroad crossing hazards as evidenced by more drivers looking for a clear track. Thus, Operation Lifesaver enhanced safety in street and highway traffic operations in the vicinity of railroad-highway grade crossings.

Item Type: Departmental Report
Keywords: Alertness, Before and after studies, Behavior, Drivers, Field studies, Railroad grade crossings, Safety programs, Speed
Subjects: Transportation
Transportation > Railroads
Transportation > Roads and highways
Transportation > Traffic safety
ID Code: 16392
Deposited By: Iowa DOT Library
Deposited On: 18 Mar 2014 20:34
Last Modified: 05 Nov 2014 15:56