Analysis of the effects of visibility and warning devices on driver injury severity at highway-rail grade crossings considering temporal transferability of data

Int J Inj Contr Saf Promot. 2020 Jun;27(2):243-252. doi: 10.1080/17457300.2020.1737139. Epub 2020 Mar 9.


This study explores the joint effect of visibility and warning devices on driver injury severity at the highway-rail grade crossings (HRGCs), while also considering other contributing factors. For this purpose, four mixed logit models are developed to estimate the determinants of driver injury severity considering the combinations of visibility conditions (daylight vs. no daylight) and type of warning devices (active vs. passive warning). The models were calibrated using the data obtained from the USDOT Federal Railroad Administration for HRGC crashes that occurred over a ten-year period 2008-2017 across the United States. A temporal transferability test was conducted and confirmed the stability of model specifications considering a ten-year span of collected data. The pseudo-elasticity analysis was conducted to ascertain marginal impact of the contributing factors on driver injury severity in each model. While the vehicle speed, train speed, time of day and driver age are found to be common significant factors among the four models, there are marked differences between parameters associated with various crash factors. The study provides new insight into the driver injury severity in train-vehicle collisions considering visibility and type of warning devices, which can help in setting up proper policies to improve safety at HRGCs.

Keywords: Railroad crossing; injury severity; logit model; safety; visibility; warning device.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic* / classification
  • Accidents, Traffic* / statistics & numerical data
  • Algorithms
  • Causality*
  • Humans
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Railroads*
  • Risk Factors
  • Trauma Severity Indices
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Visual Acuity
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology