Date of Award

Fall 2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering - (Ph.D.)

Department

Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Janice Rhoda Daniel

Second Advisor

Taha F. Marhaba

Third Advisor

Jian Yang

Fourth Advisor

Athanassios K. Bladikas

Fifth Advisor

Wenge Guo

Abstract

There are approximately 240,000 highway-rail grade crossings in the United States and highway-rail grade crossing areas have been considered in this study as these are locations where crashes frequently occur. Existing studies on crash models at highway- rail grade crossings can be classified into two categories: accident frequency prediction models and driver injury severity models. Accident frequency prediction at highway-rail grade crossings have been investigated by previous studies using varied statistical models. Few studies, however, have focused on driver injury severity studies. Three drawbacks will be addressed in this research including limitations in traditional highway- rail grade crossings studies, limited models to study driver injury severity, and the relatively small databases. Three driver injury severity models are developed including overall model, driver injury severity model with respect to control devices, and driver injury severity model with respect to age and gender. Based on the model study, it is found that older drivers are more susceptible than younger drivers to cause an increase in severity, an increase in severity under bad weather condition, and improving highway pavement will significantly reduce driver injury severity at passive control highway-rail grade crossings, etc.

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