Technical Reports

Success Factors in the Reduction of Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Incidents from 1994 to 2003

  • 01
  • Apr
  • 2009
AUTHOR: Suzanne Horton, Anya Carroll, Mina Chaudhary, Tashi Ngamdung, Jonathan Mozenter, David Skinner
OFFICE: RPD
REPORT NUMBER: DOT/FRA/ORD-09/05
SUBJECT: Highway-Rail Grade Crossings, Accident Reduction
KEYWORDS: highway-rail intersections, safety
ABSTRACT: Between the years 1994 and 2003, incidents at highway-rail grade crossings declined by 41.2 percent. The reasons for this decline were unknown. The John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center was tasked by the Federal Railroad Administration to identify the salient success factors in highway-rail grade crossing incident reduction. The success factors were analyzed and investigated using various qualitative and quantitative methods. Ten factors were identified as the most influential safety factors. The ten factors are: Commercial Driver Safety, Locomotive Conspicuity, More Reliable Motor Vehicles, Crossing Closure and Grade Separation, Sight Lines Clearance, Warning Device Upgrades, the Grade Crossing Maintenance Rule, the Section 130 Program, Operation Lifesaver, and Railroad Mergers. Commercial Driver Safety, Locomotive Conspicuity, More Reliable Motor Vehicles, Sight Lines Clearance, and the Grade Crossing Maintenance Rule were quantitatively analyzed with data from the Railroad Accident Incident Reporting System; they impacted 54 percent of the incidents and accounted for 79 percent of the reduction in incidents.

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