About the research
Adverse weather conditions, including snow, rain, fog and high winds, have shown to affect safety on the roadways. Understanding the relationship between weather and crashes can help identify high risk areas, provide predictive road weather information, design effective safety countermeasures, and support decision making for road maintenance priorities. Iowa DOT has been collecting traffic, road weather and winter maintenance operational data in recent years. Coupled with the crash data, the new data sources provide opportunities to examine the mobility and safety impact of weather conditions, as well as the role of winter maintenance operations in mitigating the adverse effect. This project will investigate the relationships between weather conditions (e.g., precipitation type and rate, wind speed and direction, visibility, and pavement conditions), traffic flow, and crashes. Various datasets will be explored, including geographic information management system (GIMS), travel time and speed data provided by INRIX, traffic volume and vehicle class makeup collected by Wavetronix sensors and automatic traffic recorders, crash database, snowplow AVL and images, and weather data from Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS) and Road Weather Information System (RWIS). Data from different sources will be fused based on the spatial and temporal information associated with each data records and used to develop crash frequency and crash severity models.