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J Okla State Med Assoc. 2009 Aug;102(8):263-6.

Unintentional motor vehicle-train collisions--Oklahoma, 1995-2003.

Author information

1
Oklahoma State Department of Health, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73117, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Rates of persons injured in motor vehicle (MV)-train collisions in the state of Oklahoma (1.13/100,000 population) are more than 2 times the United States rate (0.51/100,000 population).

METHODS:

To better understand and describe unintentional MV-train collisions in Oklahoma, we collected information on MV-train collisions during 1995-2003 from the United States Federal Railroad Administration and from statewide medical examiner reports. Intersections were classified into train-activated gates, train-activated flashing lights, and passive signage (crossbucks or stop signs). For each type of intersection, MV-train collisions were calculated as the average annual number of collisions/1,000,000 vehicles/100,000 trains.

RESULTS:

A total of 444 unintentional MV-train collisions occurred; 48% had at least one injury. The average annual intersection collision rate with passive signage (5.15) was eight and 37 times, respectively, the rate of train-activated lights (0.63) and train-activated gates (0.14). Of drivers involved in collisions at intersections with gates, 83% ignored the gate warning. Twenty-five percent of drivers were aged < 25 years, compared with 16% of registered drivers in Oklahoma (p = 0.0001); 74% of drivers were male, compared with 49% of registered drivers in Oklahoma (p < 0.0001). Of fatalities tested for the presence of alcohol, 22% were legally intoxicated.

CONCLUSIONS:

Increasing the number of intersections with active warnings and instituting structural changes (i.e., gates that close across both lanes of traffic) would likely reduce the number of MV-train collisions in Oklahoma and throughout the U.S.

PMID:
19750816
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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