Effects of driver familiarity and prolonged or intermittent right-side failure on level crossing safety

Wullems, Christian, Haworth, Narelle L., Larue, Gregoire, Haines, Andrew, & Gildersleeve, Matthew (2014) Effects of driver familiarity and prolonged or intermittent right-side failure on level crossing safety. In Ahram, T., Karwowski, W., & Marek, T. (Eds.) Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics AHFE 2014, Krakow, Poland.

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This paper investigates the adverse effects of familiarity and human factors issues associated with the reliability of low-cost warning devices at level crossings. The driving simulator study featured a repetitive, low workload, monotonous driving task in which there were no failures of the level crossing (control) or prolonged or intermittent right-side failures (where the device reverts to a safe failure mode). The results of the experiment provided mixed support for the familiarity hypothesis. Four of the 23 participants collided with the train when it first appeared on trial 10 but safety margins increased from the first train to the next presentation of a train (trial 12). Contrary to expectations, the safety margins decreased with repeated right-side failure only for the intermittent condition. The limited head movement data showed that participants in the prolonged failure condition were more likely to turn their head to check for trains in the right-side failure trials than in earlier trials where there was no signal and no train. Few control participants turned their head to check for trains when no signal was presented. This research highlights the need to consider repetitive tasks and workload in experimental design and accident investigation at railway level crossings.

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ID Code: 75921
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: railway level crossing, driver behavior, right-side failure, simulation
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > TRANSPORTATION AND FREIGHT SERVICES (150700) > Rail Transportation and Freight Services (150702)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Facilities: CARRS-Q Advanced Driving Simulator
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 16 Sep 2014 00:11
Last Modified: 21 Jan 2016 02:47

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