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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Trespass Event Risk Factors

Document Series
Technical Reports
Federal Railroad Administration
Report Number
Subject Highway-Rail Grade Crossings, Trespass Countermeasures
Railroading, trespassing, risk factors, data collection

The Volpe Center has used three sources of data—the Federal Railroad Administration’s required accident reports, locomotive video, and U.S. Census data—to investigate common risk factors for railroad trespassing incidents, the leading cause of rail-related deaths in the U.S. Risk factors found include (1) a disregard for grade crossing warning signs, (2) trespasser intoxication, (3) use of distracting electronic devices, and (4) right-of-way proximity to stations, bridges, and rail yards. This research report offers several suggestions for improved data availability to support future studies.

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Last updated: Wednesday, November 12, 2014