Fatal crashes at highway rail grade crossings: A U.S. based study

Subasish Das, Xiaoqiang Kong, Steven M. Lavrenz, Lingtao Wu, Mohammad Jalayer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Crashes at highway rail grade crossings (HRGCs) are often involved with fatalities due to the momentum of a train. This study collected nine years (2010–2018) of fatal HRGC crashes from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) to perform the analysis. The Taxicab Correspondence Analysis (TCA) was applied to this dataset. This method identified several patterns that trigger HRGC-related fatal crashes. The findings indicate that fatal crashes involving multiple fatalities are often highly associated with alcohol-influenced drivers, poor lighting conditions, and inclement weather. The fatal crash that occurs during the daylight with the uninfluenced driver is less likely to involve more than one fatality. The results also recognized the combinations of vehicle type and speed are associated with fatal crashes at rail grade crossings. The relatively low-speed limit crossings and larger utility vehicles are more likely to be associated with fatal crashes because large vehicles require a longer time to cross railroads at a low speed. The relatively high-speed limit crossing and smaller or lighter vehicles, especially the motorcycle, are highly associated with fatal crashes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Journal of Transportation Science and Technology
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Transportation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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