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Safety 2018, 4(2), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety4020022

Developing a Highway Rail Grade Crossing Accident Probability Prediction Model: A North Dakota Case Study

1
Transportation, Logistics and Finance Department, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND 58108-6050, USA
2
Management Department, New Jersey City University, Jersey City, NJ 07311, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 February 2018 / Revised: 30 April 2018 / Accepted: 17 May 2018 / Published: 18 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design for Transport Safety)
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Abstract

Safety at highway rail grade crossings (HRCs) continues to be a serious concern despite improved safety practices. Accident frequencies remain high despite increasing emphasis on HRCs safety. Consequently, there is a need to re-examine both the design practices and the safety evaluation methods at HRCs. Previous studies developed accident prediction models by incorporating highway, crossing inventory, rail, and vehicle traffic characteristics, but none of these factors considered population in the vicinity of HRCs. This study developed a binary logit regression model to predict accident likelihood at HRCs by incorporating various contributory factors in addition to population (based on census blocks 2010) within five miles of crossings. Previous North Dakota accident data from 2000 to 2016 was analyzed and used in the model development. The model results show that the number of daily trains, the maximum typical train speed, the number of through railroad tracks, and the number of highway/traffic lanes all affect accident likelihood. The presence of pavement markings in the form of stop lines helps reduce accident probability, while populations within five miles of HRCs have a positive relationship with crash likelihood. This study will help transportation agencies improve HRC safety. View Full-Text
Keywords: highway rail grade crossing; binary logit regression model; accident likelihood highway rail grade crossing; binary logit regression model; accident likelihood
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Khan, I.U.; Lee, E.; Khan, M.A. Developing a Highway Rail Grade Crossing Accident Probability Prediction Model: A North Dakota Case Study. Safety 2018, 4, 22.

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