Case study

Identifying dangerous train level crossings

Analysing driver behaviour at Ben Bullen to determine safety levels at the local train level crossing.

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Background

With over a thousand near hits at train level crossings (TLC) in NSW every year, road safety at those locations is essential. Unfortunately, to be able to fix all the crossings at once is costly and may have logistical issues. To start this fix, it is best to understand which TLCs are the riskiest for drivers and then prioritise accordingly.

Solution

By using connected vehicle data, the behaviour of drivers could be used to determine whether a crossing was risky or not. Ben Bullen’s Castlereagh Highway was one of the analysed TLCs. In that area, g-forces, speeds, and braking were analysed.

Results

The results showed that vehicles were not following the curve advisory speed and so when they reached the crossing, the drivers experienced high g-forces. Higher speeds also meant harsher steering when approaching the bend. These findings indicate a lack of awareness of the surroundings which is dangerous for drivers and so it is suggested changes be made to improve safety.
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