Factors associated with self-reported inattentive driving at highway-rail grade crossings

Shanshan Zhao, Aemal J. Khattak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This research identified factors associated with inattentive driving at Highway-Rail Grade Crossings (HRGCs) by investigating drivers’ self-reported inattentive driving experiences and factors pertaining to their socioeconomic, personality, attitudinal, and other characteristics. A random selection of 2500 households in Nebraska received a survey questionnaire designed for licensed motor vehicle drivers; respondents returned 980 questionnaires. Factor analysis identified latent variables evaluating drivers’ patience and inclination to wait for trains, attitudes toward new technology, law enforcement or education regarding HRGC safety, and the propensity to commit serious traffic violations at HRGCs. The investigation utilized a structural equation model for analysis. This model indicated that drivers with a higher risk of inattentive driving at HRGCs were: female, younger in age, from households with higher incomes, with shorter tenure (in years) in their current city of residence, more frequently used HRGCs, received less information on safety at HRGCs, had less patience to wait for trains to pass and had less interest in safety improvement technology, law enforcement or safety education at HRGCs. These research findings provide useful information for future research and to policy makers for improving public safety. Additionally, the results are useful for safety educational program providers for targeted program delivery to drivers that are more vulnerable to distracted driving at HRGCs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-122
Number of pages10
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
StatePublished - Dec 2017


  • Driver characteristics
  • Factor analysis
  • Highway-rail grade crossing
  • Inattentive driving
  • Structural equation model
  • Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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