Injury severity in crashes reported in proximity of rail crossings: The role of driver inattention

Shanshan Zhao, Aemal J. Khattak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The objective of this article is to quantitatively investigate the impact of motor vehicle driver inattention on severity of driver's injuries sustained in crashes reported at or near highway-rail grade crossings (HRGCs). The Nebraska Department of Roads (USA) supplied 2002 to 2013 data on reported motor vehicle crashes at or near HRGCs. Besides information on driver behavior, the data set included information on seatbelt usage, presence of passengers, driver's age, gender, weather, train involvement, highway speed limit, road surface condition, and lighting condition. Random parameters binary logit regression models were used to investigate of the role of inattentive driving in severity of injuries sustained by motor vehicle drivers. The main findings were that driver inattention led to more severe injuries compared to attentive driving in vicinity of HRGCs. The probability of a driver suffering an injury in a single-vehicle crash increased by 9.7% when the driver was inattentive; in two-vehicle crashes the probability of at least one injured driver increased by 14.6% when any one of the involved drivers was inattentive to the driving task. The effects of inattentive driving on driver injury outcomes were not statistically different than the effects of driving under influence of alcohol/drugs or aggressive driving.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)507-524
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Transportation Safety and Security
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2 2018


  • DUI
  • aggressive driving
  • crash
  • highway-rail grade crossing
  • inattentive driving
  • injury severity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transportation
  • Safety Research


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