Understanding Driver Behavior at Grade Crossings through Signal Detection Theory

Abstract

NOTICE This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The United States Government assumes no liability for its contents or use thereof. Any opinions, findings and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the United States Government, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the United States Government. The United States Government assumes no liability for the content or use of the material contained in this document. NOTICE The United States Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturers' names appear herein solely because they are considered essential to the objective of this report. Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 1 hour per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed and completing and reviewing the collection of information. Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any aspects of this collection of information , including suggestions for reducing this burden to Washington Headquarters Service, Directorate for information Operations and This report uses signal detection theory (SDT) to model motorists' decisionmaking strategies at grade crossings in order to understand the factors that influence such decisions and to establish a framework for evaluating the impact of proposed countermeasures. This report is intended to update and expand the original analysis conducted by Raslear (1996), which examined the effectiveness of grade crossing warning devices and determined whether their effectiveness was due to variations in the signal-to-noise ratio (sensitivity), bias to stop, or a combination of these two components of signal detection theory. This report documents the results of four empirical and theoretical tests of the SDT model to understand how different warning devices and countermeasures influenced drivers' decisions at grade crossings in the 21 years from 1986 (as reported by Raslear) to 2007 (the most current year available when this effort began). In the first analysis, we compare accident data from 2007 with that from 1986 and describe the necessary adjustments to our assumptions in setting up the model. In the second analysis, we apply this revised framework to a more detailed historical analysis of driver decisionmaking at grade crossings. The third analysis describes our test of the robustness of the SDT model and our application of SDT to predict the effect …

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Yeh2013UnderstandingDB, title={Understanding Driver Behavior at Grade Crossings through Signal Detection Theory}, author={Michelle Yeh and Thomas Raslear and Jordan Multer}, year={2013} }