Improving Safety at Highway-Rail Grade Crossings Using In-Vehicle Auditory Alerts

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences


Despite increased use of lights, gates, and other active warning devices, crashes still happen at Highway-Rail Grade Crossings (HRGCs). To improve safety at HRGCs, we designed an in-vehicle auditory alert (IVAA) and conducted a multi-site driving simulator study to evaluate the effect of the IVAA on driving behavior at HRGCs. The video shows results of the collaboration between Virginia Tech, Michigan Tech, and the Volpe National Transportation Center recruited a total of N = 72 younger drivers. Driver simulator testing showed that the IVAA improved driving behavior near HRGCs, improving gaze behavior at HRGCs. Drivers looked both ways at crossings more often when the IVAA was present. We expect to run additional tests to further improve the IVAA. Our study can contribute to research efforts targeting driving safety at HRGCs.

Publication Title

ACM International Conference Proceeding Series