Tuesday, 16 January 2007: 1:30 PM
The safety, mobility and economic benefits of advanced weather applications and research for surface transportation planning and operations
216AB (Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center)
Just looking at one sector (roadways) of the surface transportation community, we find significant safety and cost data estimates attributed to weather-related crashes are approximately 7,400 fatalities per year; 690,000 injured (ten-year averages from 1995 to 2004); $42 billion in economic costs; and over 544 million hours in delays. While not as large in sheer numbers, the other surface transportation sectors (railway, transit, marine, pipeline, and airport ground operations) also experience weather-related safety and operational impacts on their systems. Since the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Federal Highway Administration released the Weather Information for Surface Transportation – A National Needs Assessment Report (OFCM 2002), there has been a great deal of progress made in bringing new weather products and services to the surface transportation community. This paper will delineate the positive impact of the increased focus and attention in the functional area of weather information for surface transportation has had on promoting initiatives that have resulted in reducing deaths/injuries, improving operations efficiency, and reducing property damage on our Nation's transportation systems, thus enhancing the Nation's economy. It also provides examples of work underway, and what the Federal meteorological community is doing to develop a Federal surface transportation weather research and development program.