Investigation of key factors for accident severity at railroad grade crossings by using a logit model

Shou Ren Hu, Chin-Shang Li, Chi Kang Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Although several studies have used logit or probit models and their variants to fit data of accident severity on roadway segments, few have investigated accident severity at a railroad grade crossing (RGC). Compared to accident risk analysis in terms of accident frequency and severity of a highway system, investigation of the factors contributing to traffic accidents at an RGC may be more complicated because of additional highway-railway interactions. Because the proportional odds assumption was violated while fitting cumulative logit modeled by the proportional odds models with stepwise variable selection to ordinal accident severity data collected at 592 RGCs in Taiwan as suggested by Strokes et al. [Strokes, M.E., Davis, C.S., Koch, G.G., 2000. Categorical Data Analysis Using the SAS System, second ed. SAS Institute, Inc., Cary, NC, p. 249], a generalized logit model with stepwise variable selection was used instead to identify explanatory variables (factors or covariates) that were significantly associated with the severity of collisions. Hence, the fitted model was used to predict the level of accident severity, given a set of values in the explanatory variables. Number of daily trains, highway separation, number of daily trucks, obstacle detection device, and approaching crossing markings significantly affected levels of accident severity at an RGC (p-value = 0.0009, 0.0008, 0.0112, 0.0017, and 0.0003, respectively). Finally, marginal effect analysis on the number of daily trains and law enforcement camera was conducted to evaluate the effect of the number of daily trains and presence of a law enforcement camera on the potential accident severity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)186-194
Number of pages9
JournalSafety Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2010


  • Accident severity
  • Generalized logit
  • Marginal effect
  • Proportional odds
  • Railroad grade crossing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety Research
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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