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Variability in decision-making and critical cue use by different road users at rail level crossings

Variability in decision-making and critical cue use by different road users at rail level crossings
Variability in decision-making and critical cue use by different road users at rail level crossings
Collisions at rail level crossings (RLXs) are typically high-severity and high-cost, often involving serious injuries, fatalities and major disruptions to the transport network. Most research examining behaviour at RLXs has focused exclusively on drivers and consequently there is little knowledge on how other road users make decisions at RLXs. We collected drivers’, motorcyclists’, bicyclists’ and pedestrians’ self-reported daily experiences at RLXs for two weeks, focusing on behaviour, decision-making and information use in the presence of a train and/or activated RLX signals. Both information use and behaviour differed between road users. Visual information (e.g., flashing lights) was more influential for motorists, whereas pedestrians and cyclists relied more on auditory information (e.g., bells). Pedestrians were also more likely to violate active RLX warnings and/or cross before an approaching train. These results emphasise the importance of adopting holistic RLX design approaches that support cognition and behaviour across for all road users.

Practitioner summary: This study explores how information use and decision-making at rail level crossings (RLXs) differs between road user groups, using a two-week self-report study. Most users make safe decisions, but pedestrians are most likely to violate RLX warnings. Information use (visual vs. auditory) also differs substantially between road user groups.
rail level crossings, grade crossings, decision-making, situation awareness
1366-5847
1-55
Beanland, Vanessa
2429dbf1-4d8e-4997-8b3a-a767206aea56
Lenné, Michael G.
42ec07a3-a610-4b56-89d9-cd0f65a6d41d
Salmon, Paul M.
8fcdacc0-31f9-4276-bd9e-8127db6c806e
Stanton, Neville A.
351a44ab-09a0-422a-a738-01df1fe0fadd
Beanland, Vanessa
2429dbf1-4d8e-4997-8b3a-a767206aea56
Lenné, Michael G.
42ec07a3-a610-4b56-89d9-cd0f65a6d41d
Salmon, Paul M.
8fcdacc0-31f9-4276-bd9e-8127db6c806e
Stanton, Neville A.
351a44ab-09a0-422a-a738-01df1fe0fadd

Beanland, Vanessa, Lenné, Michael G., Salmon, Paul M. and Stanton, Neville A. (2015) Variability in decision-making and critical cue use by different road users at rail level crossings. Ergonomics, 59 (6), 1-55. (doi:10.1080/00140139.2015.1095356).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Collisions at rail level crossings (RLXs) are typically high-severity and high-cost, often involving serious injuries, fatalities and major disruptions to the transport network. Most research examining behaviour at RLXs has focused exclusively on drivers and consequently there is little knowledge on how other road users make decisions at RLXs. We collected drivers’, motorcyclists’, bicyclists’ and pedestrians’ self-reported daily experiences at RLXs for two weeks, focusing on behaviour, decision-making and information use in the presence of a train and/or activated RLX signals. Both information use and behaviour differed between road users. Visual information (e.g., flashing lights) was more influential for motorists, whereas pedestrians and cyclists relied more on auditory information (e.g., bells). Pedestrians were also more likely to violate active RLX warnings and/or cross before an approaching train. These results emphasise the importance of adopting holistic RLX design approaches that support cognition and behaviour across for all road users.

Practitioner summary: This study explores how information use and decision-making at rail level crossings (RLXs) differs between road user groups, using a two-week self-report study. Most users make safe decisions, but pedestrians are most likely to violate RLX warnings. Information use (visual vs. auditory) also differs substantially between road user groups.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 10 September 2015
e-pub ahead of print date: 22 September 2015
Published date: 7 November 2015
Keywords: rail level crossings, grade crossings, decision-making, situation awareness
Organisations: Transportation Group

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 383188
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/383188
ISSN: 1366-5847
PURE UUID: ea95ad57-2b04-4d78-8da7-2c64747493c1
ORCID for Neville A. Stanton: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-8562-3279

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 22 Oct 2015 13:27
Last modified: 17 Dec 2019 01:42

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Contributors

Author: Vanessa Beanland
Author: Michael G. Lenné
Author: Paul M. Salmon

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