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Mid-America Transportation Center

Safety and Mobility Impacts of Winter Weather - Phase 3

Final Report
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Researchers

  • Principal Investigator: Zachary Hans (zhans@iastate.edu 515-294-8103)
  • Co-Principal Investigator: Neal Hawkins (hawkins@iastate.edu 515-294-7733)
  • Project Status
    Complete
    About this Project
    Brief Project Description & Background
    Highway agencies spend millions of dollars to ensure safe and efficient winter travel. However, the effectiveness of winter weather maintenance practices on safety and mobility are somewhat difficult to quantify. Safety and Mobility Impacts of Winter Weather - Phase 1 investigated opportunities for improving traffic safety on state-maintained roads in Iowa during winter weather conditions. In Phase 2, a combination of the Phase 1 results, and Iowa DOT Maintenance Field staff input, were then employed to evaluate three Iowa DOT high priority sites. The primary objectives of Phase 3 of this project are to: 1) develop a systematic site prioritization protocol, 2) analyze winter weather and crash history at the prioritized sites, 3) identify possible mitigation strategies, and 4) develop a prediction model of crash risk as a function of winter weather-related variables and traffic-related variables.
    Research Objective
    The primary objectives of this project are to: 1) develop a systematic site prioritization protocol, 2) analyze winter weather and crash history at the prioritized sites, 3) identify possible mitigation strategies, and 4) develop a prediction model of crash risk as a function of winter weather-related variables and traffic-related variables.
    Potential Benefits
    A systematic strategy for utilizing crash data to improve safety during winter weather events will be developed. This will include prioritization of locations and identification of mitigation strategies. Collaborative implementation and evaluation plans will outline the proposed site specific improvements and performance tracking mechanisms. Factors influencing risk during winter weather events may also be identified. Results will be presented in the final report.
    Abstract
    Highway agencies spend millions of dollars to ensure safe and efficient winter travel. However, the effectiveness of winter weather maintenance practices on safety and mobility are somewhat difficult to quantify. Safety and Mobility Impacts of Winter Weather - Phase 1 investigated opportunities for improving traffic safety on state-maintained roads in Iowa during winter weather conditions. The primary objective was to develop several preliminary means for the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) to identify locations of possible interest systematically with respect to winter weather-related safety performance based on crash history. Specifically, four metrics were developed to assist in identifying possible habitual, winter weather-related crash sites on state-maintained rural highways in Iowa. In addition, the current state of practice, for both domestic and international highway agency practices, regarding integration of traffic safety- and mobility-related data in winter maintenance activities and performance measures were investigated. This investigation also included previous research efforts.

    In Phase 2, a combination of the Phase 1 results, and Iowa DOT Maintenance Field staff input, were then employed to evaluate three Iowa DOT high priority sites. Winter weather crash mitigation analysis procedures were developed and applied for these three sites. Realistic maintenance and operations mitigation strategies were also identified.

    The primary objectives of Phase 3 of this project are to: 1) develop a systematic site prioritization protocol, 2) analyze winter weather and crash history at the prioritized sites, 3) identify possible mitigation strategies, and 4) develop a prediction model of crash risk as a function of winter weather-related variables and traffic-related variables.
    Project Amount
    $ 39,496.22