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Potential of auxiliary strobe lights on train locomotives to improve level crossing safety

Silla, Anne and Dreßler, Annika and Lehtonen, Esko and Virtanen, Ari and Mesimäki, J. and Grippenkoven, Jan Daniel (2022) Potential of auxiliary strobe lights on train locomotives to improve level crossing safety. Applied Ergonomics (103), p. 103767. Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2022.103767. ISSN 0003-6870.

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Official URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0003687022000904


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.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/141883/
Document Type:Article
Title:Potential of auxiliary strobe lights on train locomotives to improve level crossing safety
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Dreßler, Annikaannika.dressler (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-7290-6133
Grippenkoven, Jan Danieljan.grippenkoven (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Journal or Publication Title:Applied Ergonomics
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :10.1016/j.apergo.2022.103767
Page Range:p. 103767
Keywords:Train visibility, lights, level crossing, safety
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Transport
HGF - Program Themes:Rail Transport
DLR - Research area:Transport
DLR - Program:V SC Schienenverkehr
DLR - Research theme (Project):V - Digitalisierung und Automatisierung des Bahnsystems
Location: Berlin-Adlershof , Braunschweig
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Transportation Systems > Information Flow Modelling in Mobility Systems, BA
Institute of Transportation Systems > Design and Evaluation of Mobility Solutions, BS
Deposited By: Dreßler, Annika
Deposited On:13 May 2022 13:25
Last Modified:13 May 2022 13:25

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