Inattentiveness of road users on approach to passive railway crossings represents a major threat to level crossing safety. An auxiliary strobe light system installed on trains in addition to existing headlights may help address this issue by providing an ergonomic way of attracting human attention to the level crossing and to the train. The objective of this paper was to investigate the ergonomics and safety potential of auxiliary strobe light systems. A system was implemented on a real railway vehicle and in the virtual environment of a driving simulator. Acceptance of the system, including its usefulness and perceived benefits and drawbacks, as well as its objective effectiveness, were evaluated using questionnaires, behavioural measures, and eye tracking. The safety potential of the system was evaluated with respect to fatal level crossing accidents. The auxiliary strobe lights were preferred over normal lights and were rated as useful, reducing driving speeds, increasing visual scanning at level crossings, and thus aiding detection of a train. The system has the potential to prevent 6–30% of level crossing accidents in Europe. The results suggest that it might be worthwhile to test auxiliary strobe lights in a larger scale real-world experiment. Especially on railway lines with a high number of passive level crossings, this system can be expected to increase safety by supporting timely detection by road users and preventing accidents caused by inattentiveness.
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - 2022|
|MoE publication type||A2 Review article in a scientific journal|
- train visibility
- level crossing
- Level crossing
- Train visibility