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Accid Anal Prev. 2013 Sep;58:195-205. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2012.09.012. Epub 2012 Oct 10.

An on-road network analysis-based approach to studying driver situation awareness at rail level crossings.

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  • 1Faculty of Arts and Business, School of Social Sciences, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore, QLD 4558, Australia.


Crashes between cars and trains at rail level crossings are problematic worldwide. Despite this, key facets of driver behaviour at rail level crossings, such as situation awareness and decision making, remain ambiguous. This is largely down to the inability of existing methodologies to describe or evaluate the cognitive aspects of driver behaviour when negotiating rail level crossings. This paper showcases an on-road approach for examining driver situation awareness at rail level crossings. The study presented involved participants, classified either as novice or experienced drivers, providing concurrent verbal protocols as they drove a pre-determined urban route incorporating four rail level crossings. Driver situation awareness was modelled using a network analysis-based approach and the structure and content of the networks was assessed. The analysis revealed key differences between novice and experienced drivers situation awareness at rail level crossings. In closing, the benefits of the on-road approach are discussed and a series of wider driver behaviour applications are proposed.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Driver behaviour; Network analysis; Rail level crossings; Situation awareness

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