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A comparison of highway- rail crossing accidents in the US and UK

A comparison of highway- rail crossing accidents in the US and UK

DAWNA L. RHOADES AND MICHAEL WILLIAMS, EMBRY-RIDDLE AERONAUTICAL UNIVERSITY, USA

Recent highway-rail crossing accidents in the United States and the United Kingdom have created debate in both countries about the safety of the intersection of two vital transportation systems. This study compares and contrasts these two very different rail systems, specifically examining the structural and attitudinal factors that shape the safety of highway-rail crossings in both countries. In 2004, there were 339 fatalities at US grade crossings compared to 17 fro the UK. Further analysis indicates that the US has almost twice the number of grade crossings as the UK, although UK motorists are slightly more likely to die in grade crossing accidents. This result may be explained by the higher level of passenger versus freight traffic in the UK.
Keywords: Grade Crossing Accidents; Railroads; Safety; Intermodal Transportation.

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