Relationships Between Weather and Roadway Safety

Project Details
STATUS

Completed

PROJECT NUMBER

17-639

START DATE

12/01/17

END DATE

09/30/19

SPONSORS

Iowa Department of Transportation

Researchers
Principal Investigator
Jing Dong

Transportation Engineer, CTRE

About the research

Much research has attempted to determine the impacts of weather events, specifically winter weather events, on mobility and safety. As more knowledge has been gained, attention has turned to quantifying the impacts of winter maintenance operations on safety.

This project studied the relationships between winter weather, safety, and winter maintenance operations. With detailed data available, a thorough examination of the interactions between these three issues was possible. To demonstrate the interactions between safety, weather, and maintenance operations, visualization tools were implemented to capture as many of the interactions as possible. Additionally, a crash frequency model and a crash severity model were developed to quantify the safety benefits of winter maintenance operations.

Because of the depth of data available, a deeper analysis was also conducted and deeper relationships discovered. An analysis of various ratios produced a clearer picture of the relationship between snowplow parameters and safety.

Ultimately, this project provided a greater understanding of key relationships among winter weather, snowplow operations, and traffic safety. The key findings can help better inform decision makers about how maintenance operations impact safety.

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