785 An Examination of Traffic Accidents during Falling and Blowing Snow in Northern Indiana

Tuesday, 14 January 2020
Hall B (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Daniel Burow, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN; and C. Atkinson

Falling and blowing snow presents a hazard to drivers by reducing visibility and vehicle maneuverability, as well as increasing stopping distance. Previous research suggests that when snow is falling, travelers sometimes cancel their trips altogether, resulting in reduced traffic volume. The effects on traffic accident occurrence is complex, since lowered volume may counteract the effects of inclement conditions. In this study, we examine accident records during snowfall from four counties in northern Indiana during three consecutive winter seasons (2012 to 2015), comparing accident occurrence to radar-derived snowfall intensity, landcover, road type, and daylight conditions using ArcGIS. We also explore meteorological conditions during accidents reported due to blowing snow. Our results may be informative to transportation officials and emergency managers who work in climatologically snowy regions.
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